Kazakhstan’s trade with fellow Customs Union member states (Russia and Belarus) went down by 19.3% y/y in January-October. The main reason for that was decline in imports – by 21.7% y/y to $11.887bn. Exports also shrank but to a lesser extent – by 12.1% y/y to $4.422bn.
The Customs Union is the first step of integration process of the post-Soviet states. On January 1, the member states launched the Eurasian Economic Union, which will be the higher level of integration. Kyrgyzstan and Armenia are plan to join the new organization within months (relevant agreements were already signed).
Kazakhstan’s exports remained dominated by mineral products (44.6%), which were followed by metal and metal products (26.2%), chemical products (12.7%) and food products (5.4%). On the other hand, Kazakhstan imports were mainly machinery and equipment (32.7%), chemical products (13.7%), mineral products 913.5%0, metal and metal products (13.1%) and food products (12.1%).
Significantly, as foreign trade is being calculated in dollars its decline is connected with the depreciation of Russian currency ruble. This was mentioned by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the meeting with Sergey Naryshkin, speaker of Russian Duma in December. Nazarbayev noted that despite shrinkage of trade in monetary terms, its physical volumes are growing.
Foreign trade within the Customs Union is dominated by trade with Russia, which demonstrates that the Customs Union in fact covers bilateral trade relations between Russia and other member states. Kazakhstan’s exports to Russia shrank by 11.7% y/y to $4.396bn, while imports dropped by 22.4% y/y to $11.349bn. On the other hand, exports to Belarus shrank by 11.7% y/y to $26mn while imports declined by relatively mere 4.4% y/y to $38.7mn.
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