(bne IntelliNews) – Kazakhstan has cut its grain export target for the 2017/2018 marketing season to 8mn tonnes of grain from the previously expected 9mn tonnes, Deputy Agriculture Minister Nurzhan Altayev told Reuters on December 15. The figure is below the 8.3mn tonnes exported in the 2016/2017 marketing year.
Russia’s record grain crop of 139.8mn tonnes is squeezing out Kazakh grain from Kazakhstan’s export markets, according to Altayev.
“Russia has an all-time high crop and they are essentially entering all the markets where we used to sell,” Altayev said. “Our grain usually went to Central Asian and Caspian markets, and they (Russia) are trying to do the same. Therefore, the competition is very serious.”
So far in the current marketing season Kazakhstan has exported 3.9mn tonnes of grain, up from 3.6mn tonnes in the same period of last season.
As far as full-year forecasts go, Altayev previously said Kazakhstan would export about 9.1mn tonnes of grain in 2017, up from 8.7mn tonnes exported in 2016, mostly thanks to growing grain exports to China.