FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
• Unfavourable weather conditions expected to curb yields of wheat and barley in 2021
• Cereal exports forecast slightly below-average level in 2021/22
• High prices of potatoes in June due to very low availabilities in most markets
Unfavourable weather conditions expected to curb yields of wheat and barley in 2021
Harvesting of the 2021 minor winter wheat crop is ongoing, while planting of the 2021 main spring wheat and barley crops, to be harvested from mid-August, finalized in early June.
Below-average precipitation amounts and warmer-than-average temperatures since May negatively affected soil moisture levels and resulted in below-average vegetation conditions in northern areas of the country, including parts of the key spring wheat and barley producing Kostanay and Akmola provinces (ASI map). The 2021 wheat and barley outputs are forecast at 13 million tonnes and 3.3 million tonnes, respectively, slightly below the five-year average levels as unfavourable weather conditions are expected to curb yields.
The total 2021 cereal production is forecast at about 18 million tonnes, 5 percent below average.
Cereal exports forecast slightly below-average level in 2021/22
Total cereal exports in the 2021/22 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at about 8.8 million tonnes, slightly below the average volume. Wheat exports are forecast at a near-average level of 7.5 million tonnes, despite the reduced output expected in 2021 due to the steady demand by importing countries. Barley exports are projected at 1.2 million tonnes, about 5 percent below the five-year average volume.
High prices of potatoes in June due to very low availabilities
Export prices of milling quality wheat have been declining since February 2021 and, in June, they were near their levels in the corresponding month a year before.
In the domestic market, retail prices of first grade wheat flour have been slightly increasing since February 2021, in line with seasonal trends and, in June, they were on average 5 percent higher than a year earlier.
Retail prices of potatoes, another food staple in the country, have been seasonally increasing since October 2020, rising sharply in May and June 2021, ahead of the 2021 harvest. In June, prices were almost 50 percent above their values a year before due to very low availabilities in most markets.