Kazakh foreign trade surplus plummets over 60% to $11.2bn in Jan-Aug

By bne IntelliNews October 27, 2015

Kazakhstan’s foreign trade surplus shrank drastically to $11.2bn in January-August, the State Statistics Committee has informed. In the same period of the previous year, trade surplus stood at $28.4bn. The main reason for such a huge decrease is a decline in the price of oil, the main commodity exported by Kazakhstan, which generated around two-thirds of the country’s total export revenues last year.

According to the data, exports slumped by 41.8% y/y to $32bn while imports went down by 21.8% y/y to $20.8bn.

Despite these changes, the structure of the foreign trade partners remained unchanged. Kazakhstan exports mainly to Italy (a 18% share in total exports). Then comes China with 11.9% share, Netherlands (11.5%), Russia (9.6%) and France (5.9%). Interestingly, the share of Russia increased from around 6% last year. This is a result of a change in the structure of exports – Russia does not import oil from Kazakhstan, which is cheap now, but it mainly purchases machinery and chemical products.

Imports to Kazakhstan came traditionally from Russia (a 33.7% share in total imports), China (17.2%), Germany (6.1%), the USA (4.8%) and Italy (3.8%).

The low price of oil is projected for the next two years which means that Kazakhstan’s foreign trade surplus will continue to shrink at least until the end of the year. 

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