NURSULTAN, KAZAKHSTAN — Kazakhstan exports of wheat, sunflower and flaxseed have been delayed at the Chinese border for months due to COVID-19 restrictions, Reuters reported.

In November 2020, China implemented new import regulations to curb the spread of COVID-19. The new regulation has left Kazakhstan exports at the Dostyk-Alashankou railroad border crossing for months.

Astyk Trans, Kazakhstan’s main grains rail shipper, told Reuters it stopped accepting cargoes for China this month because it would take nine months to process shipments currently halted at the border.

Despite talks between Kazakhstan and China no resolution has been agreed upon.

“Due to ... the doubling of the number of abandoned rail cars and the worsening of the situation, and taking into account the upcoming Chinese New Year public holidays ... the Grain Union of Kazakhstan does not expect the situation to be resolved until the summer season,” the Grain Union of Kazakhstan told Reuters in a statement.

As the wait continues, warm spring weather nears, and the Grain Union of Kazakhstan is worried the grain quality will deteriorate creating losses for Kazakhstani exporters.