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Flour is in demand

Russia has become one of the leaders in flour exports to Kyrgyzstan 

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Flour cargo turnover between Russia and Kyrgyzstan more than doubled in 2022. Russian Railways predicts growth in shipments in the first quarter of 2023 by almost 10% compared to last year.

In 2022, Russia exported 18,000 tons of flour to Kyrgyzstan by railway. This is 2.1 times more (+9,600 tons) than in 2021, Konstantin Baranov, Acting Deputy Head of the Center for Corporate Transport Services (CCTS), told Gudok. 

According to Konstantin Baranov, the growth in supplies is due to the development of the flour-milling industry in Russia. In 2022, the volume of flour production grew by 6.2% year-on-year. In January 2023, the production growth was 4.8% compared to the same period last year. 

The National Statistics Committee of Kyrgyzstan, in turn, notes that Russia ranks second in supply of flour to the republic - in 2022 the volume of supplies amounted to 7,400 tons. Kazakhstan is the first in supplies with almost 19,000 tons, and a small amount of flour to the country comes from Belarus – 1,2 tons. 

"The surge and growth of flour supplies from Russia are attributed to the market situation, because there was a period of high prices for raw materials. Another factor is that every year from February 15 to June 30 there is an export quota for grain from Russia", says Sergey Sokolov, chairman of Opora Russia's grain complex development commission. 

He notes that Kyrgyzstan has its own grain processing facilities, which have remained in the country since Soviet times. About ten technological mills capable of processing up to 5,000 tons of grain a month have been built. 

As of the first quarter of this year, flour shipments are expected to increase by 9.9% (+100 tons), to 1,300 tons of flour compared to the level of 2022, predicts Konstantin Baranov. 

Sergey Sokolov believes that there is no reason to predict growth in the volumes of flour transportation from Russia to Kyrgyzstan, because the republic has its own facilities for processing raw materials. According to the expert, today Kyrgyzstan imports about 800,000 tons of grain a year because of the high level of its own grain processing.

"Now the republic supplies flour to Uzbekistan, and negotiations with Afghanistan are underway. There will be an increase in grain shipments, but not flour," concludes Sergey Sokolov.

Alexander Solyanik

Victoria Eletina

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