Will Kazakh flour lose its market in Afghanistan?

Will Kazakh flour lose its market in Afghanistan?

The whole world is discussing the change of power in Afghanistan. And if many are interested in political consequences of the seizure of power, the domestic millers face the question of retaining the market. For today, 2/3 of flour exports from Kazakhstan goes to Afghanistan.

In connection with the current situation, World of NAN asked the president of the Union of Grain Processors of Kazakhstan Yevgeny Gan to comment on how the tense situation in the neighboring country could affect the supply of flour.

"For the last 4-5 years, our Afghan market has been dominant in terms of flour supplies. Suffice it to say that in 2020, 1 million 150 thousand tons of flour was sent to this country. In 2019 - 915 thousand tons. The maximum volume of 1.5 million tons we supplied in 2017", - says Evgeny Albertovich.

According to the head of the Union, to date, flour and grain markets in Afghanistan are filled with raw materials mainly from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. If Uzbekistan does supply its products, it is a flour of Uzbek production from Kazakh grain. There are also small supplies from Russia. However, the Afghan market is very capacious and due to the sharp growth of the population the potential for consumption of bakery products is also growing, the expert said.

As for the change of power, according to Yevgeny Gan, it will in any case have a negative impact on the situation as a whole. However, it will not come to the closing of the market, moreover, the country's leadership will be forced to provide people with bread in the first place.

"There are, of course, challenges. It is not known how the payment issues will be resolved now. Will banks in Afghanistan work, will correspondent banks work for transfers. It is also unclear if the current traders will stay or if others will replace them. Will the safety of cargoes coming into the territory of Afghanistan be ensured? There are many questions but we will get answers only with time," E.Gan commented.

The expert adds that in the country with such an economic situation, where people live in poverty, there can be no food reserves. But people have to be provided at least with bread.

"Regardless of the situation in the country, the new government will have to provide the population with food. Otherwise it will be very difficult to keep people's discontent. We hope that within a very short time all issues of supply will be resolved. Of course, there will be a drop in volumes for a certain period. But we have enough capacity to replenish these volumes of both flour and grain", - summarized E.Gan.

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