Kazakhstan keeps putting more grain on the rail to China
The use of railways to transport Kazakh grain exported to China has increased four times between September 2022 and June 2023, compared to the same period 12 months prior. The increasing grain volume reached 1,1 million tonnes. One of the most evident signs of this increase is the Altynkol-Khorgos border crossing, where grain loading increased by 200 times, as Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) reported.
As KTZ mentioned on Telegram, 78 per cent of the Kazakh grain exported to China is containerised. The increased rail traffic between the two countries has resulted in a 14,6 per cent increase in trains during the first five months of 2023. Currently, the growing volume has put much pressure on the Altynkol-Khorgos border crossing, as another rail crossing option between the two countries, Alashankou-Dostyk, is currently going through renovation.
Alashankou-Dostyk traffic restricted
The Alashankou-Dostyk border crossing is currently partially closed for construction work to double the track capacity, causing traffic restrictions. These restrictions will mainly affect cargo between China and Central Asia, particularly Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Rail freight traffic between China and Kazakhstan has been redirected through the Altynkol-Khorgos border crossing. Trains from China to Europe and Russia, as well as those bound for Kazakhstan, can still use the Alashankou border crossing. The terminal is currently undergoing renovation, with the aim of increasing its capacity and speeding up reloading and gauge exchange. The renovation is expected to be finished by November 2024.