Grain and Flour Market in Kazakhstan

01 February 20176 min reading

The grains that Kazakhstan produce the most are wheat and barley. Producing 12,9 million tons in 2014, Kazakhstan is estimated to product 13,5 million tons in 2016/17 season. Kazakhstan ranks 12th in the world wheat production and 6th in wheat export.


GRAIN AND FLOUR MARKET IN KAZAKHSTAN The population of Kazakhstan where is rounded with Russia on North, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on South and China on east is estimated to be 17,9 million as 2015. Population density of Kazakhstan, which has the ninth largest area (2,724,900 square kilometers) in the world, is on northern and southeastern of country. Grain production that is made on northern of country has the largest share among agricultural sector.

 According to USDA’s report on 1st March of 2016, 80% of wheat is used for food consumption, 14% for seeds and 5% for feed. Barley consumption includes 35% for food, 25% for seeds and 39% for feed.

THE IMPORTANCE OF GRAIN PRODUCTION IN KAZAKHSTAN There are 650 milling complexes in Kazakhstan. Industry sources indicate that Kazakhstan’s mills currently operate at approximately 50% of their capacity, estimated at 10 to 11 million tonnes of grain processing per year. It is stated in various sources that there is a great idle capacity in Kazakhstan and the number of operating mills are around 350. It is stated that around 200 of these mills have capacity of more than 150 tons per day.

According the data of U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA) in November, in 2016/17 season Kazakhstan’s wheat production is estimated to be 16,5 million tons with 20 per cent rising according prior year.

According to data of International Grains Council (IGC) in November, in 2016/17 season Kazakhstan’s wheat production is estimated to be 13,5 million tons with 0,2 million tons declining according prior year.

According to the report of UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Kazakhstan’s wheat production is estimated to be 13,5 million tons in 2016 with 100 thousand tons rising according prior year.

As one of the world’s major wheat flour exporters, Kazakhstan’s wheat flour export was 2,3 million tons in 2014/15 season and 2,5 millon tons in 2015/16 season according to IGC data. According to FAO data, wheat flour export is predicted to be 7 million tons in 2016/17 with 100 thousand tons rising.


According to the report of UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the grain that Kazakhstan produce the most is wheat. When the wheat production between 2010 and 2014 seasons is reviewed, it is seen that the production amount varies between 9 and 22 million tons. Kazakhstan’s wheat production that was 22 million tons in 2011 season, decreased to 9,8 million tons in the following season with record declining. Wheat production is reached 13,9 million tons by 4 million tons rising in 2013 season and is decreased 12,9 million tons in 2014 season.

Another prominent product in Kazakhstan’s grain production is barley. When country’s barley production between 2010 and 2014 seasons is reviewed; it is seen that production varies between 1,3 and 2,5 million tons. According to FAO data; Kazakhstan’s barley production, which was 1,3 million tons in 2011, reached to 2,5 million tons by rising in 2013. Amount of barley production is 2,4 million tons in 2014. Other prominent product in Kazakhstan’s grain production is corn. Country’s corn production is between 462 and 569 thousand tons in between 2010 and 2013 years. The amount of corn production is reached 664 thousand tons in 2014.

GRAIN TRADE IN KAZAKHSTAN Kazakhstan’s grain trade is wheat and barley. According to the FAO’s report, Kazakhstan wheat import was 2,5 million tons in 2010. But, the amount of wheat import is decreased one thousand in 2013 with record declining. Kazakhstan’s barley import which is 37 thousand tons in 2012, is decreased 22 thousand tons in 2013. Kazakhstan’s rice import amount is 24 thousand tons in 2012 and 16 thousand tons in 2013.

Leading grain product of Kazakhstan’ export is wheat. Kazakhstan has realized wheat export varying between 2,8 and 7,4 million tons between 2009 and 2012 years. This amount is decreased 5 million in 2013.

Kazakhstan’s barley export amount which was 208 and 521 thousand tons between 2009 and 2012 years, was decreased 238 thousand tons in 2013.

FLOUR TRADE IN KAZAKHSTAN According to the FAO’s report, Kazakhstan wheat flour export was 1,8 and 2,2 million tons between 2010 and 2013 years. Kazakhstan which is exported 2,2 million tons wheat flour in 2012, decreased this amount to 1,8 million tons in 2013. Kazakhstan’s wheat flour import shows an unsteady graphic. Import amount which was 10 thousand tons in 2011, was decreased 4 thousand tons in 2012 and 3 thousand tons in 2013.

FLOUR INDUSTRY IN KAZAKHSTAN According to “Development of the Flour-milling Industry in the Republic of Kazakhstan in Modern Times” article that was published on International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues in 2016, Flour-milling industry ranks among the most socially important branches of the agribusiness. Consumers of mill products are as follows: Baking, pasta, confectionary and compound feed industries, retail trade and public catering. Baking industry is the largest. The main baking products – bread and bake goods of different types and grades – are the essential daily foods in Kazakhstan.

Wheat (90%) and rye (8%) are the main raw materials for flour production. Flour may be also produced from other crops (barley, rice, oat, buckwheat, corn), but its amount is insignificant in total volume.

In the northern region flour mills are located close to the raw materials base and have grains available. This is their advantage. And their weak point is low concentration of the population. Southern regions are their main markets.

According to final report “Afghanistan/Central Asia Regional Food Fortification Program (2014-16) – Industry Assessment in Kazakhstan&Pakistan” that is implemented by The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) in 2015, Kazakhstan’s milling industry is privately owned since 1991 and produces 4 million tons of wheat flour annually, 45% of which is exported. The country uses less than 50% of its overall milling capacity and the industry is currently undergoing a consolidating process:

 • In the late 90’s, there were 1,000 mills in the country

• Nowadays, the number is closer to 250-300

• In the coming years, industry experts believe that only 40-50 large milling companies will continue to operate

The consolidation of the industry is accompanied by a modernization and integration /diversification of the largest milling facilities. This situation is largely linked to increased competition faced by Kazakhstan on the domestic and export markets. Other CAR (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan) which were traditional export markets for Kazakhstan are building up their own milling capacities. Russia has recently become a strong competitor. Many millers in Kazakhstan are therefore currently struggling to maintain their operations.

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