Barley Replaces Grade 4-5 Wheat in Kazakhstan

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Nov 24, 2022 | Agricultural Markets

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In Kazakhstan, Barley is mainly used in livestock and poultry feed. Barley consumption for feed is estimated at 1.9 MMT in MY 2021/22, as livestock herd increases were limited this MY due to dry conditions across central and south Kazakhstan in MY 2021/22. FAS-Astana expects no significant changes to planting area for Barley for MY 2022/23. North Kazakhstan (20% of the total Barley production), Almaty (19%), and Aqmola (15%) are essential Barley-producing regions. FAS-Astana estimated Barley production in MY 2021/22 at 2.37 MMT, a decrease of 36 percent from MY 2020/21 and on par with USDA’s official estimates.

The export potential of Kazakh Barley remains low at 0.8 MMT in 2022/23 MY, Deputy Director of Harvest Kazakhstan LLC Kazybek Omarov said on November 11 in Astana at Asia Grains & Oils Conference in Qazaqstan 2022. He noted that in 2022 the lowest area since 2014 was planted with Barley – 2.15 million hectares. The average yield was 1.5 t/ha, and the harvest of Barley totaled 3.23 MMT, which is the lowest result since 2016 (excluding the last dry season). At the same time, the demand for Barley remains high, according to him. The domestic consumption of Barley is estimated at around 2 MMT.

“Since 2014, we have been increasing the acreage of Barley. There was a demand from Iran and China. Accordingly, the acreage of wheat has been reduced. Currently, there is a reverse trend. In addition, high consumption is explained by the shortage of feed wheat. For several years in a row, we virtually do not have 4-5 grade wheat, so it is replaced by Barley “, K. Omarov added.

Kazakhstan’s Barley Export

Iran, China, and the countries of Central Asia will be the leading destinations for Kazakh Barley this season. According to official statistics, Kazakhstan exported only 0.4 MMT of Barley in 2021/22 MY, down 60% y/y. It is the lowest volume in 9 years. The peak of Barley exports was observed in 2018/19 MY when 1.8 MMT was delivered to foreign markets from a harvest of 3.82 MMT.

In MY 2021/2022, Barley exports were estimated to be 0.6 MMT, on par with USDA official estimates. Before Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, traders noted exchange rate fluctuations and payment delays with Iranian buyers. Iranian buyers were reportedly having difficulties purchasing from Kazakhstan’s many smaller exporters. Recently, exporters have indicated that Iranian buyers have become more active in importing Barley from Kazakhstan. While Barley exports to Iran and China have decreased in recent years, exporters noted that buyers from these two countries are expected to increase imports from Kazakhstan in MY 2022/23.

Kazakhstan exported 226,107 tons of Barley in MY 2021/22 (July-February), a decrease of 67 percent from last year due to the lower ha. Since the beginning of 2021/22 MY (July-February), Uzbekistan has been the top importer of Barley at 87,487 MT, a 90 percent increase from the same period last MY. Iran was the second largest importer of Barley at 64,415 MT, an 84 percent decrease from last year. While Iran had historically been the top Barley buyer, lower production in Kazakhstan and payment issues can be attributed to the decline. Tajikistan continued to increase Barley imports, reaching 37,057 MT, a 64 percent increase from last year. Exports to China decreased by 83 percent, or 29,818 MT, since the beginning of 2021/22 MY (July-February).

In CY 2021, Iran led their Barley export market with 0.7 MMT, followed by China (0.2 MMT), Uzbekistan (0.06 MMT), the United Arab Emirates (0.03 MMT), and Tajikistan (0.03 MMT). Other minor importers were the United Kingdom, Israel, Azerbaijan, etc. As per AgFlow data, Iran purchased 0.27 MMT of Barley in Jan-Nov 2022.

Other sources: USDA

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