VAT cancellation does not impact grain imports into Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.10 / Trend N. Ismayilova /
The cancellation of VAT on grain imports from Dec. 1 has not yet increased the import volume in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani State Customs Committee Chairman Aydin Aliyev said today.
"Azerbaijan imports grain in the same volume as before," he said. "In the course of nine days, the country imported 53,000 tons of grain. We support the decision to cancel the VAT, which was taken timely, as now world markets are seeing a sharp rise in grain prices."
Azerbaijan exempted grain and flour importers from VAT until Aug. 1, 2011.
According to the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee, as of Nov.1, production of crops, including corn, dropped in Azerbaijan compared to last year by 987,800 tons or 33 percent to 1.999 million tons. Some1.863 million tons or 93.2 percent of this amount accounted for grain, and 135,400 tons or 6.8 percent for corn. The average grain yield per hectare dropped to 20.7 against 26.5 quintals per hectare compared to the previous year. Heavy rains observed throughout the country in spring had a negative impact on cereal production. Therefore, as a result of the Kur River flooding and continuous rains, a flood took place in 40 districts in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan will collect, presumably, 2 million tons of grain in 2010, 1.3 million of which will fall to wheat. Given that the country's need for food wheat is 1.5 million tons, the missing volumes will be covered at the expense of imports -- particularly from Kazakhstan.