ASTANA – Kazakhstan has set a new record for grain exports to China in 2023, encompassing wheat, barley, soybeans, flax, and sunflower seeds, with the total shipments reaching 2.2 million tons, reports El Dala news website focusing on agribusiness in Kazakhstan.
Experts from DataHub, an analytical service in Kazakhstan, note the surge in exports was expected as quarantine restrictions that previously hindered grain exports to China were lifted last year.
“On the other hand, Russia continued to displace Kazakhstan from the markets of Afghanistan and Kyrgyz Republic, which are traditionally important for it. In addition, deliveries to Iran declined as it faced difficulties in conducting transactions due to sanctions,” reads a post on the DataHub Telegram channel.
The increase in grain exports to China is seen as an effort to compensate for the reduction in supplies to other important areas.
According to the Bureau of National Statistics, Kazakhstan witnessed a staggering 24-fold surge in wheat exports to China, which reached 475,200 tons in January-October last year.
Meanwhile, exports to Iran decreased eight times to 68,400 tons. Exports to Afghanistan also declined by 15% to 379,100 tons, and by 10% to 3,300 tons to the Kyrgyz Republic.
Despite the plunge in exports to key markets, the overall wheat supplies abroad grew to 6.2 million tons. Uzbekistan was pivotal in this surge, contributing half (three million tons) of the total volumes and nearly 60% (804,300 tons) of the overall increase.