Domestic wheat transportation in Kazakhstan decreased by 16.4% in January 2024


In January 2024, Kazakhstan saw a marked decline in domestic rail transportation of wheat compared to the same period in 2023. Total transportation volumes decreased by 16.4%, reflecting a general decline in activity in this area. This change can be attributed to a number of factors, including the effects of a poor harvest year.

The most notable decline occurred in the first ten-day period of the month, when transportation volumes fell 41.2%. In the second ten-day period, the decline amounted to 8.1%, which may indicate a partial recovery of activity. However, by the third ten-day period, the decline amounted to 14.6%, confirming the tendency for transportation volumes to decrease at the end of the month.

Comparing December 2023, when 158,000 tons of wheat were transported, with January 2024, there is a 27.8% decline. This drop may indicate a seasonal decrease in activity in the agribusiness sector.

According to data provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, the total harvest in 2023 was 19.3 million tons, of which 17.1 million tons of cereals were produced. This was one of the weakest figures in the last five years. The season was marked by extremely unfavorable weather conditions for grain crops in key agrarian zones of Kazakhstan. The prolonged absence of precipitation until early September was replaced by heavy rains, which not only hampered harvesting operations, but also caused sprouting of grain on spikelets. This led to a significant decrease in grain quality, up to complete loss of its baking properties. In addition, the moistened grain became vulnerable to fungal infections, which further deteriorated its suitability for storage and reduced its marketability, leaving its use mainly for animal fodder. As a result, only about half of the wheat crop meets the requirements for food grain, while the remaining grain sprouted on the ear has found its use in cereals and bakery products. These circumstances had a significant impact on the strategies and routes of grain transportation in the current year, significantly differentiating them from the practices of previous years.