Kazakhstan intends to increase the its grain exports to Russia amid the sanctions that Russia imposed on some of the agricultural products imported from the western countries supporting sanctions against Russia, Tengrinews reports citing Chairman of the Committee for State Inspection in Agro-Industry (Agroprom) of the Agriculture Ministry of Kazakhstan Saktash Khasenov.
“I think, here, we have an opportunity to increase exports, and it is primarily grain exports,” Saktash Khasenov said at the press conference on August 8. Herewith, he pointed out that Kazakhstan's grain exports in Russia direction traditionally faced transport and logistics problems. “We are always ready to increase the grain exports, primarily fodder crops. We have traditional markets, such as Iran, Turkey. And, as far as I know, last year we agreed to increase wheat exports to China," Mr. Khasenov told.
According to him, in 2014-2015 Kazakhstan’s grain export potential will make 8-9 million tons. In the 2013-2014 marketing year, Kazakhstan exported 8.7 million tons of grain.
However, Russia itself is self-sufficient in wheat. “According to preliminary estimates, this year Russia plans to harvest around 90-95 million tons of grain. Probably, Russia itself is considering grain exports," Mr. Khasenov noted.
He also addressed the issue of beef exports. “It is matter of price only. We are exporting beef, and I must say, the volume of exports is increasing every year. It is a matter of price, because compared to the beef that Russia imports from Argentina, Brazil, our prices are uncompetitive,” Mr. Khasenov concluded.
Earlier, In July, in response to Moscow's intervention in the Ukraine crisis, the United States and Europe hit Russia with new tough sanctions. Thereafter, on August 6 a one-year ban was imposed by Russia on some types of agricultural products, raw materials and food products imported from the countries supporting sanctions against Russia, which are the USA, countries of European union, Australia, Norway and Canada.
According to the head of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan Ablai Myrzakhmetov, Kazakhstan has plans of occupying the niches previously held by the now banned importers of agricultural products.
"The President has clearly stated Kazakhstan's position: we stand for a peaceful resolution [of the conflict in Ukraine] and support a constructive dialogue. However, we see some new opportunities emerging. You have witnessed Russia introduce sanctions against traditional suppliers of food products, fruit and vegetables, such as Moldova and Poland. Clearly, Russia will try to develop its own production, but for us, too, there are opportunities in the areas that will be hit by the sanctions. [We should] increase our production of these goods, especially of agricultural products, which is achievable," Mr. Myrzakhmetov said.