Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest grain exporting country, has been in talks with the Government of Iran over possible grain deliveries to the Middle East and Persian Gulf markets via the Islamic Republic’s territory.
Kazakhstan, which has an access to the Caspian Sea, would like to build logistics terminals at the Iranian ports of Amir Abad (Caspian coast) and Bandar Abbas (Persian Gulf) to handle its grain exports.
According to the Kazakh deputy foreign minister, Mukhtar Tleuberdi, Tehran is prepared to not only allocate the necessary land at its harbours, but also to double its Kazakhstani grain imports from 0.5 Mt this year to 1 Mt in 2020, with further growth in the future.
Although Iran can technically satisfy its internal demand by producing around 12 Mtpa of wheat, it also has enough capacities to process 24 Mtpa of the crop. Therefore, Iranian businesses are interested in receiving increased grain imports from Kazakhstan and Russia to process and re-export them.
The Middle East and Persian Gulf markets account for up to 70% of the world’s wheat consumption, according to Gulmira Isayeva Kazakhstan’s vice minister for agriculture.
Earlier this year, Kazakhstan, Russia and Iran signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on the grain trades implying the creation of a dedicated pool of grain exporters to supply wheat to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.