Kazakhstan to double its grain exports to Iran31 march 2015, 11:42
Kazakhstan is to double its grain exports to Iran, a Tengrinews.kz journalist reports, citing Saparkhan Omarov, Vice Minister of Agriculture.
“When it comes to the Middle East, Iran has been a major importer of Kazakh grain; with the new railroad to Iran in place, we expect the grain exports towards Iran to double”, he told a briefing at the Public Communications Service.
The 900-km-long railway link constructed through concerted efforts of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran runs from the Kazakhstan’s steppe across Turkmen Karakumy desert to the mountainous Gulistan province in the North of Iran. The project was bolstered by the Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank. The agreement on construction of the railway link was signed by the three leaders back in 2007, the actual construction works commenced in 2009. The Kazakhstan’s arm of 120 km was the first to be completed in 2012; in 2013 it was stitched to the Turkmen section Kyzylgaya – Bereket. The entire railway corridor, including the Iranian leg, was inaugurated early December 2014.
According to Mr. Omarov, the country’s grain exports potential for 2014-2015 stands at 7 million tons. “As of today, 4.7 million tons have been exported, mainly to other Central Asian states – Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Iran (2.1 million tons), Russia (119 000 tons), China (55 000 tons), EU countries (61 000 tons), and the Middle East (17 900 tons)”, he elaborated.
He also specified Kazakhstan had so far exported 1.1 million tons of flour, including 860 000 tons to other Central Asia nations and 380 000 tons to Afghanistan.
Earlier Tengrinews.kz reported, citing the country’s Agriculture Minister Assylzhan Mamytbekov, that for the 2013-2014 marketing year Kazakhstan had exported 8.7 million tons of grain, including grain equivalent of flour (6 million tons of grain and 1.9 million tons of flour), 22% up against the preceding marketing year.
The 2014 grain harvest in Kazakhstan was estimated at 17 million tons. In 2013 and 2012 the country harvested 18.9 and 17.7 million tons of grain respectively. In 2011 the figure made up whopping 26.9 million tons (net weight), with exports potential standing at 15 million tons.