New Kid On The Block

Kazakhstan is flexing it's muscles on the international export arena following a record grain harvest in 2009.

The former Soviet state produced a grain harvest of around 23 MMT in bunker weight in 2009/10 (20.8 MMT in clean weight), that's a 35% increase on the previous season, leaving them the potential to export around 10 million tonnes this marketing year.

According to the Kazakh Agency of Statistics grain stocks in the country as at Jan 1st 2010 were 16.45 MMT, an increase of 54.3% compared to 2009. The vast majority of that was wheat at 14.49 MMT, up 58.2%.

The head of the national grain company KazAgro has just announced a 1.5 MMT export deal with the world's largest wheat buyer, Egypt. He also says that the country will be casting it's export net east to China and the countries of South-East Asia, with plans afoot to also expand soybean production too in the region.

Kazakhstan and China also plan to launch grain terminal at their border, to help aid grain exports to the East.

Having already teamed up with Russia and Belarus in an attempt to fast-track accession into the WTO, Kazakhstan is also keen to form a Black Sea grain pool with Russia and Ukraine that would give it more direct access to some of its neighbours export facilities.