Transport subsidies help Kazakhs win first-ever wheat sale to Egypt

September 08. Universal Newswires

Transport subsidies help Kazakhs win first-ever wheat sale to EgyptKazakhstan made its first-ever wheat sale to Egypt, the world’s top wheat importer, thanks to a transportation subsidy to exporters, a top Kazakh agriculture official said on Wednesday.

Egypt purchased 132,277 tons of top-class grain at $320.10 a ton from Kazakhstan, ranked as the seventh-largest global wheat exporter.

The Central Asian state beat out traditionally strong competitors Russia, Ukraine, Australia, France,and the United States.

“Kazakh wheat is less competitive in Egypt’s grain market due to high transport costs, which is linked to Kazakhstan’s geographical location,” Agriculture and Plant Protection Department director Anna Buts said, speaking to the Trend news agency.

Russia is highly competitive in the grain market due to lower transportation costs and shorter delivery time, she said, adding that the Egyptian market is important for United States, France and Australia.

Russia in 2010 imposed a moratorium on grain exports while Ukraine limited its own export volumes, owing to shortages of supplies due to unfavorable weather conditions.

Kazakhstan is projected to harvest 18 million tons of wheat and grain in 2011 and plans to export 8 million to 9 million tons in this marketing year.

Exporters shipping grain via the Russian port of Novorossiysk are to get subsidies of $165 a ton, and $176 per ton if have to use Ukrainian ports, according to U.S. diplomats based in the Kazakh capital Astana, the Agrimoney website said.