Kazakhstan’s Top 10 Exports

The Republic of Kazakhstan shipped US$48.3 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a -42.9% drop since 2013 but a 31.5% increase from 2016 to 2017.

Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country. A Central Asian nation, Kazakhstan shares its southern border with Russia.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Kazakhstan’s exported goods plus services represent 35.2% of total Kazakhstani economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, over two-thirds (68.6%) of Kazakhstani exports by value were delivered to European countries while 29.7% were sold to Asian importers. Kazakhstan shipped much smaller percentages to North America (1.3%) and Africa (0.3%).

Given Kazakhstan’s population of 18.6 million people, its total $48.3 billion in 2017 exports translates to an estimated $2,600 for every resident in that country.

Kazakhstan’s unemployment rate was 4.9% as of January 2018, according to Trading Economics.

Kazakhstan’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Kazakhstani global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Kazakhstan.

At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, Kazakhstan’s most valuable export product is crude oil followed by copper, petroleum gases, iron ferroalloys, radioactive chemical elements and refined petroleum oils.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$30.7 billion (63.5% of total exports)
  2. Iron, steel: $4.2 billion (8.7%)
  3. Copper: $2.5 billion (5.2%)
  4. Inorganic chemicals: $2.2 billion (4.5%)
  5. Ores, slag, ash: $2.1 billion (4.3%)
  6. Zinc: $837.7 million (1.7%)
  7. Cereals: $829.4 million (1.7%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $595.4 million (1.2%)
  9. Aluminum: $533.4 million (1.1%)
  10. Milling products, malt, starches: $487.4 million (1%)

Kazakhstan’s top 10 exports accounted for 93% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Ores, slag and ash was the fastest-growing among Kazakhstan’s top 10 export categories, up 76.2% from 2016 to 2017 propelled by increased international sales of copper, iron ores and zinc.

In second place for improving export sales was iron and steel products which gained 52.2% year over year, closely followed by exported zinc up 51.3%. Kazakhstani’s aluminum exports appreciated by 39.5%.

Inorganic chemicals was the fastest-declining category, down by -10.1% since 2016.


Overall, Kazakhstan achieved a $19 billion trade surplus for 2017 up by 64.1% from the $11.6 billion Kazakhstani surplus one year earlier.

The following types of Kazakhstani product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$28.9 billion (Up by 38.9% since 2016)
  2. Iron, steel: $3.2 billion (Up by 50.6%)
  3. Copper: $2.5 billion (Up by 30.6%)
  4. Inorganic chemicals: $1.8 billion (Down by -16.7%)
  5. Ores, slag, ash: $1.2 billion (Up by 149.5%)
  6. Cereals: $813.1 million (Up by 0.9%)
  7. Zinc: $797.8 million (Up by 44.8%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $520 million (Down by -14.1%)
  9. Milling products, malt, starches: $463.9 million (Down by -6.9%)
  10. Aluminum: $295.9 million (Up by 78%)

Kazakhstan has highly positive net exports in the international trade of mineral fuels, particularly crude oil and petroleum gases. In turn, these cashflows indicate Kazakhstan’s strong competitive advantages under the mineral fuels including oil product category.


Below are exports from Kazakhstan that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Kazakhstan’s goods trail Kazakhstani importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Machinery including computers: US-$4.5 billion (Up by 7.8% since 2016)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$2.8 billion (Up by 26.6%)
  3. Vehicles: -$1.7 billion (Up by 74.9%)
  4. Articles of iron or steel: -$1.5 billion (Down by -16.1%)
  5. Pharmaceuticals: -$1.1 billion (Up by 13.5%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: -$1 billion (Up by 14.7%)
  7. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$873.1 million (Up by 21%)
  8. Other chemical goods: -$623.9 million (Up by 45.4%)
  9. Furniture, bedding, lighting , signs, prefab buildings: -$555.5 million (Up by 29.8%)
  10. Rubber, rubber articles: -$494.4 million (Up by 21.6%)

Kazakhstan has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for machinery-related products, notably taps and valves, air or vacuum pumps and computers.


Kazakhstani Export Companies

According to Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, the following companies are examples of leading Kazakhstani companies:

  • Bta Bank (Regional bank)
  • Halyk Bank (Regional bank)
  • KazMunaiGas Exploration (Oil and gas operations)

Wikipedia also lists exporters from Kazakhstan. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Bogatyr Access Komir (Coal mining)
  • KazakhGold (Gold mining)
  • Kazatomprom (Uranium, rare earth metals)
  • KazTransOil (Oil transportation)

Astana is Kazakhstan’s capital city.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See alsoGermany’s Top 10 Exports,Highest Value UK Export Products and Top EU Export Countries

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 13, 2018

Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Central Asia: Kazakhstan,. Accessed on March 13, 2018

Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 13, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 13, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 13, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Kazakhstan. Accessed on March 13, 2018

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Astana, Kazakhstan,. Accessed on March 13, 2018