Kazakhstan becomes world's leader in flax production
The expansion of cropland has increased the gross yield to record amounts.
The domestic flax producers have collected the record harvest this year, making Kazakhstan the largest producer in the world. It should be noted that the result was reached without the support from the state, an official website of Atameken Business informs.
The gross collection of flax has exceeded 700 thousand tons in Kazakhstan this year, making the domestic and Russian producers set a trend on the world market of oil flax.
Kazakhstan and Russia have passed Canada on the market of Belgium - the largest importer of crown flax in the world.
"As of today, flax produced in Russia and Kazakhstan is becoming a price forming factor. Canada has withdrawn from the market of Belgium so Kazakhstan and Russia meet the country's import, with Russia occupying the most part - 60 percent," said Victor Arslanov, the head of the Zernovyye&Maslichnyye. Kazakhstan research bureau.
For January-August of 2018, flax exports to Belgium have reached 99 thousand tons for 31.8 million dollars, according to a statistics of the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finances. Poland is the second large exporter of Kazakhstan's flax (39 thousand tons for 12.3 million dollars; the Republic of Afghanistan is third with 27 thousand tons of exports for 8.4 million. The overall export has made up 219 thousand tons for the reporting period, or 72 million dollars.
The record harvest has been reached by the increase in cropland, that, according to the Statistics Committee, have equaled 1 million hectares this year.
Aslanov added that flax was exported officially, as well as to 'grey' markets.
"There are cases when Russians buy it and sell it as if they are producers. We should mention that the share of the Asian market reaches up to 30 percent, they are our close neighbors. In Uzbekistan, the well-known pilaf becomes exceptionally tasty once the so-called Zegir (flaxseed oil) is added. It becomes tasty, nutritious and diet. The demand for it has considerably increased in Uzbekistan," the expert said.
Speaking of the demand within Kazakhstan, then it is low.
"In the last year, 27 thousand tons of flaxseed oil was produced in our country, of which 22 thousand was exported, mostly in China. Around 5 thousand tons remained in the market, or was sold on grey markets," said Aslanov.
Victor Arslanov, the head of the Zernovyye&Maslichnyye research bureau underlines that production of flax in Kazakhstan is not subsidized, and it is harvested mainly in Nothern Kazakhstan, the Kostanay and Akmola regions.
Given the world prices for flax, a global indicator is the price in the Belgian port of Ghent, through which the main part of Russia, Canada, and Kazakhstan's flax passes, with the most part of flax produced has already been contracted, according to the data.
"The average annual price has maintained between 420-435 dollars per ton, on condition that flax is delivered in the port. Contracts are signed in spring in advance, so we still call it 'to sow under the order'," says the expert.
The result reached is not a limit, and the support of the state to open China's market will only intensify the diversification in exports of agricultural products. Now the domestic producers export only flaxseed oil to China.