Kazakhstan eyes beef and poultry export boom

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Kazakhstan will invest up to $150m to return its beef industry to the former glory days
Kazakhstan will invest up to $150m to return its beef industry to the former glory days

Related tags: International trade, Export, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan plans to revive its once-strong beef industry to become one of the largest meat exporters in the post-Soviet Union space.

Meanwhile, the state is aiming for almost a twofold rise in poultry production, in order to fully meet domestic demand.

In 2016 Kazakhstan is set to produce 186,000 tonnes (t) of poultry, significantly increasing this figure compared to 2015, when it produced 146,000t, according to the Ruslav Shapirov, president of the country’s Poultry Producers Union. He also suggested that, within the next two to three years, the country could reach self-sufficiency in chicken production.

At the same time, according to consulting agency KazDATA, the overall volume of Kazakhstan’s poultry market is estimated at 300,000t per year, with almost 150,000t over recent years accounted for by imports. Kazakhstan has doubled poultry production in the period from 2010 to 2015, rising from 80,000t in 2010, and has a good chance of repeating this achievement, as the recent devaluation of the tenge has undermined the attractiveness of imported products.

The growth was partly due to an increase in state support each year, as the government has allocated KZT7.1billion (US$21m) in 2014 and KZT8.4bn (US$25m) in 2015 to support the production of broiler meat. In addition, last year the state provided feed subsidies of KZT7,500 (US$22) per tonne of fodder wheat,​” said Shapirov, who also suggested that the devaluation of the tenge caused some problems to producers as they had to import feed additives, vaccines and premixes from abroad.

Largest beef exporter

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan is pumping a much larger amount of money into the beef industry, with the main target of boosting export volumes from nearly 14,000t in 2015 to 180,000t by 2020. The total amount of investment into the program is close to US$150m. However, according to the vice-minister of agriculture Gulmina Isaeva, implementation of the program has slipped behind.

During 2010-2015, under the country’s beef export development program, 280 feedlots with nearly 180,000 fattening sites have been commissioned. Also, we purchased a large number of breeding stock. So almost 31% of the program has been implemented,​” she stated. “Meanwhile, during the first quarter of 2016, Kazakhstan exported 2,000t of beef, while agreements already signed will see the number of beef exports rise to 29,600t this year.​”

However, according to the program, the country should already have exported 60,000t of beef this year. During the time of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan was exporting nearly 330,000t of beef, but since the 1990s production volumes collapsed on several occasions and the industry remained in ruins for a long time. Kazakhstan now produces 400,000t of beef, but experts have pointed to a lack of proper veterinary controls, which hampers opportunities for export development.

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