Accredited in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Accredited in the National chamber of entrepreneurs "Atameken" of the Republic of Kazakhstan
What can Kazakhstan expect from the Russian ban on durum wheat exports? 02.11.2023 в 19:05 255 просмотров

The Russian Ministry of Agriculture proposed to introduce a ban on the export of durum wheat from December 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024. Since the Kazakh grain market is quite closely tied to the Russian one, the APK News agency decided to find out how this decision will affect domestic participants. The Grain Union of Kazakhstan noted that this measure will not have any impact on our market. Yes, the Republic of Kazakhstan purchased durum wheat from the Russian Federation, but very little, and besides, Kazakhstan produces it itself and consumes little. However, the union named one serious BUT: farmers will not be able to purchase Russian seeds in this difficult season for Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, flour millers view the situation with concern: they fear the borders will be closed for soft wheat as well.
“This year the durum wheat harvest in Russia is small. Last year they collected about 1.5 million tons, and this year Russian experts estimate the durum wheat harvest at 800 thousand tons. Of these, 400 thousand tons are said to have already been exported. From here, I think, this decision was born. And it was exported because there was great demand in the market, due to the fact that European countries, especially Italy, suffered from summer rains and their quality deteriorated sharply. Plus a reduction in fees in Canada. Due to this, in the summer, in July, there was a rush demand for durum wheat, all the leftovers were exported, including from us, and exports from Russia were very active,” official representative of the Grain Union of Kazakhstan Evgeniy told the APK News agency Karabanov.

Kazakhstan previously purchased durum wheat for the purpose of re-export; there were purchases last season, but all these were small volumes, therefore, according to the KYC representative, the decision of the Russian authorities will have virtually no impact on the Kazakhstan market.
“We don’t really buy it because we produce it ourselves and because durum wheat is a purely export item. Our durum wheat harvest this year is, firstly, low, and secondly, the quality is poor. But, it is worth noting that in our country there is very little consumption of durum wheat - up to 100 thousand tons, this is processing, not counting seeds,” explained Evgeniy Karabanov.
However, according to him, the draft resolution of the Russian government also indicates the code for seed durum wheat. This means that our farmers will not be able to purchase seeds in Russia. If we take into account the fact that there is a big problem with seeds in Kazakhstan, and not only soft wheat, but also hard wheat, the situation can become quite serious.
“We will sow what we have, harvested before the rains. And the rest - the areas will be repurposed for other crops. Durum wheat is not our main crop; rather, it is a niche crop; our areas under it do not exceed 500-600 thousand hectares. This is a purely export-oriented position,” the agency’s interlocutor noted.
As for wheat prices, E. Karabanov believes that, most likely, its cost on the world market will increase. When asked whether there is a connection between the Kazakh grain market and world markets, or a relationship between the prices of hard and soft wheat, the expert replied:
“No, there is practically no connection between the prices of hard and soft wheat. These are completely different segments of use. Many of our enterprises produce pasta and macaroni using soft wheat. So I don't think there will be any shocks. The only bad thing is that farmers will not be able to buy seeds,” summed up Evgeniy Karabanov.
Meanwhile, Kazakh flour millers expressed a more cautious position regarding the grain market. They fear that Russia may also close the export of soft wheat, as it did last year. And in this situation, when more than half of Kazakhstan’s grain harvest has sprouted, the industry will collapse.
“When something is closed somewhere, the person who holds wheat, he holds it in the hope that the price will rise, he begins to wait: suddenly the price will rise. These expectations, along with the closure of the border, create an additional shortage of supplies of raw materials. I believe that the price of durum wheat will go up. In 2022, Russia closed exports, then wheat jumped in price, despite the fact that we had it. And now she's gone. More than half of the harvest is sprouted grain. Look, there are restrictions on the import of grain and our flour has already skyrocketed. Grain jumped by almost 100% - from 80 thousand tenge to 140 thousand tenge, and flour by 40-50%. And this despite the fact that some of the wheat comes in. But if the Russians impose a strict shutdown, like in 2022, I think the consequences will be very serious. “Collapse is not even the right word,” said the head of a flour mill from the East Kazakhstan region, Almaz Dabylbaev.
It is worth noting that Russian grain farmers are complaining that they are already tired of the constant government bans. On social networks, they “express condolences” to colleagues who specialized in this segment.

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