ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN — Kazakhstan’s grain production is expected to jump this year to 19.2 million tonnes, up 60% on last year’s drought affected crop, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS).

These greater exportable supplies in 2011-12 will boost wheat grain exports, and Kazakhstan could benefit from reduced supplies in other high-quality wheat suppliers.

Although the planting of some crops were delayed by spring rains, the weather in 2011 during the growing season was near ideal, with resulting much higher yields expected in all crops and especially wheat.

Because of beneficial weather, Kazakhstan’s grain production is rebounding this year from last year’s drought-reduced crop, and is expected to reach 19.2 million tonnes (16 million tonnes wheat), compared to 12 million tonnes last year (9.7 million tonnes ).

The wheat harvest is set to begin at the end of August, beginning of September. The only remaining concern for the crop is whether early cold weather or excess rain before or during harvest will affect quality, which last year was excellent, FAS said.

Wheat feed consumption is expected to recover in 2011-12 as a result of expected lower domestic prices and greater supply.

Kazakh grain exports are expected to rebound this year as a result of the higher availability, with total grain exports estimated at 8.3 million tonnes (8 million of which is wheat and flour) compared to 5.7 million tonnes last year (5.4 of wheat and flour).

Flour exports are expected to continue steady this year, although there may be a little more competition from Russian flour as a result of the much larger harvest there. In the long-term, however, flour exports are unlikely to be a growth area for Kazakhstan as some Central Asian importers have begun developing their own milling industries (although this development will open opportunities for Kazakh wheat grain exports to these markets), FAS said.

The Kazakhstan Statistics Agency reported that grain stocks as of July 1, were 3.5 million tonnes of which 3.3 million tonnes was wheat. Although some storage scarcity may occur due to the large harvest, Kazakhstan during the Soviet Union regularly produced significantly more grain than even this year’s bumper crop, and as a result there is some excess capacity in Soviet built concrete storage facilities.