Astana, Kazakhstan, Feb.14
By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:
Kazakhstan doesn't have the prerequisites for unreasonable price fluctuations for food products, the country's Minister of Agriculture Asylzhan Mamytbekov said at a briefing in Astana on Feb.13.
"There is a real tool to prevent unreasonable price fluctuations and to maintain a stable situation in the domestic market," the minister said.
Currently, the residue of food products in Stabilisation Funds is 46,000 tons in Astana and Almaty, including 14,000 tons of potatoes, 12,000 tons of flour, 5000 tons of onions, 4000 tons of sugar, 3000 tons of vegetable oil, 2000 tons each of carrots, cabbage and rice and other products, according to the minister. The largest volume of reserves is found in Kostanai, East Kazakhstan, Mangistau, Pavlodar provinces and in Astana city.
"In general, the mechanism of forming Stabilisation Funds with the right management is a real lever to having a regulatory impact on the market," the minister said.
The share of domestic production in all types of food is over 80 percent in domestic consumption, according to Mamytbekov. The exceptions are poultry, butter, cheese, curd and sugar.
"There is some probability of a price increase in those products, however it should be stressed that this additionally increases the attractiveness of investment in these sectors in our country and will give a new impetus to their development," the minister said.
If Kazakh companies will now rightly establish their policy on marketing and sales against the background of a price hike in imports and not chase for short term profits, they will be able to significantly increase their participation share in both domestic and foreign markets, according to the minister.
Rumours about a price hike in Kazakhstan emerged against the background of devaluation of the national currency.
The National Bank of Kazakhstan adopted a decision on Feb.11 to refuse to maintain the exchange rate of the national currency the tenge at the same level and to reduce the volume of currency interventions and interference in the process of the formation of the tenge's exchange rate.
'The National Bank expects the new exchange rate will be around 185 tenge
per dollar', a statement from the National Bank said.
The official exchange rate on Feb.11 is 155.5 KZT/USD.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by S.M.