Kazakhstan entrepreneurs suggest sunflower seed export quota of 250,000 tons

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International Business News – Kazakhstan Agriculture Network (KAN) reports that the Kazakhstan Atameken Entrepreneurs’ Federation has collected and collated proposals of entrepreneurs on the quota mechanism for sunflower seed exports and will submit them to the Ministry of Trade and Integration of Kazakhstan.

Earlier, Serik Zhumangarin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Integration of the Government of Kazakhstan, proposed to implement restrictive measures on sunflower seed exports as soon as possible. The aim is to meet the supply of raw materials for the country’s vegetable oil processing plants in order to increase exports of finished vegetable oil rather than raw materials.

One of the restrictive measures would be the imposition of a tax, i.e. an export tax on sunflower seeds exported to countries outside the Eurasian Economic Union member states at the rate of 20% of the export value of the goods, but not less than 100 euros per ton. Another measure is the setting of export quotas. Only exports of goods in excess of the quota amount will be subject to customs duties. The exact choice of which measure will be decided by the trade authorities, taking into account the position of the companies. Obviously, there will be difficult discussions.

Serik Zhumangarin previously presented the proposal of the Ministry of Trade and Integration in this regard: the quota should be at the current level of the average annual export volume. However, in the past year, exports have grown significantly, and in 2021 Kazakhstan exported 148,000 tons of sunflower seeds, while in January-October 2022, sunflower seed exports have exceeded 222,000 tons. In other words, by the end of 2022, sunflower seed exports are likely to exceed 250,000 tons.

Because of this, companies have suggested setting the quota at the level of 250,000 tons. The Ministry of Trade is likely to consider this amount too high, pointing out that it has grown too fast compared to the previous year. Kazakhstan’s exporters have also made some other suggestions, such as an entrepreneur can apply for an export quota of no more than 2,600 tons. The specific quota setting is still waiting for the decision of subsequent discussions.

It is reported that the main buyers of sunflower seeds from Kazakhstan are Uzbekistan and China. As for sunflower oil buyers, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan topped the list.