Kazakhstan and Russia are discussing grain swap operations to cut transportation costs, the Kazakh agriculture minister said on Monday.
This year Kazakhstan is expecting a harvest of 22-23 million tons of grain (net), the largest grain harvest in the past 60 years. It plans to export 10 million tons.
“We are proactively cooperating with the Russian Grain Union and are considering grain swap operations with Russia, because they also have transport problems there as they grow grain mainly in the south and the consumers are in the north and Far East,” minister Asylzhan Mamytbekov said.
Under the plan, southern Kazakhstan could import grain from Russia’s agricultural south, while grain-rich northern Kazakhstan could export excess grain to eastern Russia, which is closer.
Speaking in the lower house, Mamytbekov said the swaps would be mutually advantageous, and it would also resolve the problem of storing excess grain in northern Kazakhstan.