NUR-SULTAN, KAZAKHSTAN — Wheat production in Kazakhstan in the 2020-21 marketing year is forecast to be 15% higher than the previous year at 13.2 million tonnes, according to a report from the Global Agricultural Information Network of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

However, the projected output is about 1 million tonnes lower than the USDA’s previous forecast in September 2020.

The increase from the previous year is due to improved yields, the USDA said.

“As much as 80% of newly harvested wheat meets class 3 quality of wheat for food purpose, while in 2019-20 it was only 53%,” the USDA said. “However, producers and processors in the Kostanay region note that wheat quality had a low ‘test value.’ Gluten contents of 30% and test value of 700-710 does not produce the perfectly white color (of flour). The wheat flour from this wheat was dark, lowering demand. For this reason, some mills imported wheat from Russia, noting its excellent quality that produced more marketable wheat flour.”

The USDA forecast Kazakhstan wheat exports in 2020-21 at 7.3 million tonnes, slightly higher than in 2019-20 when 6.9 million tonnes were exported.