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Drought Causes 47% Plunge in Kazakh Grain Crop

Tuesday 9 October 2012

ALMATY (Bloomberg) – The grain crop in Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s biggest wheat producer, shrank by 47% this season as a drought persisted in main growing regions in summer, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Kazakhstan reaped a record 26.9 million tons of grain in 2011, but this year, average yields fell to 940 kg/ha from 1,530 kg/ha of last year.

Millers produced 14.3 million metric tons of grain as of today after harvesting on 99% of the seeded area, the ministry said in a statement distributed in the capital city of Astana. Harvests were lost on more than 1 million hectares of the 16.2 million hectares sown with grains, according to the statement. The main cultivation areas of Akmola and Kostanai accounted for 90% of the losses, along with the Aktobe region and West Kazakhstan.

The Ministry of Agriculture had earlier announced its intention to purchase some 480,000 tons of wheat for food and around 5,000 tons for forage. In the meantime, the government has approved grain purchase prices for state reserve. The purchase price for 3rd grade soft wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was set at 40,000 tenge per ton, for forage soft wheat, 4th grade, at 36,000 tenge/ton, for 2nd class barley at 32,000 tenge/ton. Last year the government purchased 3rd grade wheat at 25,000 tenge/ton.

Interfax-Kazakhstan reported Kazakh farmers will receive 1.5 bln tenge in subsidies for feeding their in winter time.

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