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Kazakhstan Increases Its Grain Exports Target by 20%

(Corrects area in third paragraph.)

Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Kazakhstan, the biggest wheat producer in Central Asia, raised its grain export forecast by 20 percent to 12 million metric tons for the 2012-13 marketing year, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

That’s up from a July forecast of 10 million tons, Yevgeny Aman, the Agriculture Ministry’s executive secretary, said today during an online conference on the bnews.kz portal from the capital, Astana.

Kazakhstan may gather about 13 million tons of grain this season, Aman said. The country has harvested 29.5 percent of the planted grain, or 891,600 hectares (2.2 million acres), to date, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

The country may lose 353,000 hectares of planted grains, or 2 percent of the total, due to drought, Agriculture Minister Asylzhan Mamytbekov said July 24.

Kazakhstan harvested a record 26.9 million tons of grain in 2011, according to government data. The country has about 9 million tons of stock left from last year, Aman said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Svetlana Antoncheva in Astana, Kazakhstan at santoncheva1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Hellmuth Tromm at htromm@bloomberg.net

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