The latest USDA forecasts for Kazakhstan wheat production pegs the crop at 13.0mmt, down 2.0mmt on last year’s crop, with exports remaining the same at 7.0mmt.
The reason the USDA give for the reduction is a drop in planted hectares which is in line with the government policy to reduce milling wheat hectares in favour of feed grains, presumably to convert into meat, milk and eggs for added value exports.
Another explanation could be the Kazakh Governments Master Plan for “The stabilisation of the grain market” sets various goals and targets such as increasing crop production by 30% and as feed wheat generally yields more than milling wheat, that could be one way of reaching the target.
Although having said that, the Kazakh growing season is short so yields are pretty low anyway so I can’t believe there is much difference in feed over milling wheat, in truth, I really have no idea what the Kazakh Government are thinking.
Weather conditions in the spring and early part of the growing season have largely been good with The Kazakhstani Weather Service reporting that water deposits at the depth of one meter are expected to reach optimal levels.
I’d like to get over to Kazakhstan next month to conduct a rapid crop tour of the northern regions where most of the wheat is grown to check condition ahead of harvest if we can raise the funds.
Drop me a line if you'd like to help cover some of our costs and receive a report on our findings.