Kazakhstan seeks to export 3 million tons of grain to China

Kazakhstan, Astana, Aug. 26 / Trend A.Maratov /

Kazakhstan seeks to export 3 million tons of grain to ChinaKazakhstan expects to export about 3 million tons of grain to China in 2011, Food Contract Corporation Chairman Beybithan Kabdrakhmanov said at a press conference in Astana today.

“We will export 3 million tons of grain to China this year,” Kabdrakhmanov said.

He said the company attempted to export 3 million tons of grain to China and other countries in Southeast Asia through transit, but to no avail.

Earlier, the Kazakh Food Corporation and Chinese corporation COFCO reached an agreement on the grain supply to China. The Food Corporation expressed its readiness to deliver up to 150,000 tons of the high-quality Kazakh wheat to the Chinese market on a monthly basis.

The Chinese side’s main demand was the high quality of the Kazakh wheat. To improve flour produced from the Chinese raw materials, the country needs to mix it with corn containing gluten at more than 28 percent. The Kazakh grain has precisely these qualities.

However, Kazakhstan’s wheat faces difficulties to enter the Chinese market, as the Chinese government always sets a quota on imports of wheat at 9.6 million tons, pursuing the policy of control and restriction of imports of goods from abroad. This is linked with China’s state program to support its agricultural producers.

According to the Chinese Statistics Agency, the number of population employed in agriculture hits about 800 million people, nearly 50 percent of the total population.

The Kazakh Agriculture Ministry expects that the harvest will be above average – some 19 million tons in 2011.