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Kazakhs Fund Grain Exports

ASTANA — Kazakhstan will pay nearly $30 toward the cost of every ton of grain delivered to the Black Sea for the rest of this season to help push exports toward a record 13 million tons, the country's agriculture minister said.

Kazakhstan is investing in new elevators, ports and railroads to supply Iran and its Central Asian neighbors, but will also encourage farmers to cultivate more feed grains, maize and oilseeds to avoid an oversupply of wheat in the future, Asylzhan Mamytbekov said.

"Our traditional markets cannot absorb our wheat, and the government needs to subsidize part of the expense involved in sending grains to less profitable markets," Mamytbekov said. The country is among the world's top 10 wheat exporters, but hefty transportation costs involved in moving grain to distant ports often render it less competitive than Russian or Ukrainian grain.

(Reuters)

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