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AKIPRESS.COM - Squeezed out of its traditional markets in Central Asia by Russia's record grain crop, Kazakhstan has cut its grain export target while aiming to increase sales to China, Deputy Agriculture Minister Nurzhan Altayev told Reuters.
The former Soviet republic has cut grain export forecast for its 2017/18 marketing season to 8 million tonnes from 9 million tonnes, Altayev said. In the previous season, Kazakhstan exported 8.3 million tonnes of grain.
Russia harvested a record 139.8 million tonnes of grain before drying and cleaning this year.
"Russia has an all-time high crop and they are essentially entering all the markets where we used to sell," Altayev said.
So far this season, which runs from June to July, Kazakhstan has exported 3.9 million tonnes of grain, up from 3.6 million tonnes in the same period last season.
"Our grain usually went to Central Asian and Caspian markets, and they (Russia) are trying to do the same. Therefore, competition is very serious."
Some relief, he said, would come from higher sales to China. In January-September, Kazakhstan shipped 242,000 tonnes of grain to China, compared with 300,000 in the whole of 2016.