Tajikistan’s Top 10 Exports

Tajikistan flag (Wikipedia)

Tajikistan flag (Wikipedia)

A landlocked, mountainous nation in Central Asia, the Republic of Tajikistan shipped US$1.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 9.2% gain from 2017 to 2018 and a 32% increase since 2014.

The latest data shows that 94.4% of products exported from Tajikistan were bought by importers in: Kazakhstan (27.9% of the global total), Turkey (25.8%), Uzbekistan (14.5%), Afghanistan (6.7%), China (5.3%), Russia (5.1%), Iran (3.3%), Netherlands (2.7%), Italy (1.6%) and Taiwan (also 1.6%).

From a continental perspective, 88% of Tajikistani exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries while 11.4% were sold to importers in Europe. Tajikistan shipped much smaller percentages to the Caribbean (0.5%), North America (0.1%) and Africa (0.0002%).

Given Tajikistan’s population of 8.6 million people, its total $1.1 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $125 for every resident in the Central Asian country.

In macroeconomic terms, Tajikistan’s total exported goods represent 3.5% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($31.1 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 3.5% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2018 compares to 4.8% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Tajikistan’s total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that Tajikistan also provided $242.2 million worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 0.8% of GDP in PPP.

Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Tajikistan’s unemployment rate was forecast to be 2.2% at July 2019 down from 2.3% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.

Tajikistan’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Tajikistani global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Tajikistan.

  1. Ores, slag, ash: US$400.1 million (37.3% of total exports)
  2. Cotton: $204.9 million (19.1%)
  3. Aluminum: $202.2 million (18.8%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $79.1 million (7.4%)
  5. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $65.7 million (6.1%)
  6. Other base metals: $26.7 million (2.5%)
  7. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $19.5 million (1.8%)
  8. Vehicles: $16 million (1.5%)
  9. Fruits, nuts: $11.4 million (1.1%)
  10. Machinery including computers: $9.5 million (0.9%)

Tajikistan’s top 10 exports accounted for 96.4% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Mineral fuels-related products represent the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 53% from 2017 to 2018 propelled by higher international sales of electrical energy and, to a much lesser extent, refined petroleum oils.

In second place for improving export sales was cars which rose in value by 50.5%.

Tajikistani salt, sulphur, stone and cement posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 42.4%.

The leading decliner among the top 10 Tajikistani export categories was fruits and nuts which fell -16.1%.

From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, aluminum (18.6% of total) represents Tajikistan’s most valuable exported product followed by zinc ores and concentrates (15.7%), uncarded cotton (15.4%), lead ores and concentrates (11.1%), electrical energy (7.3%), copper ores and concentrates (7%), hydraulic cements (6.1%) then cotton yarn (3.5%).


The following types of Tajikistani 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 represent 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. Ores, slag, ash: US$399.5 million (Up by 3.2% since 2017)
  2. Cotton: $200.9 million (Up by 30.9%)
  3. Aluminum: $187.8 million (Down by -1.4%)
  4. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $53.4 million (Up by 46.7%)
  5. Other base metals: $26.6 million (Up by 30%)
  6. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $11.1 million (Up by 27.9%)
  7. Gums, resins, other vegetable saps: $3.2 million (Down by -58%)
  8. Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $2.5 million (Up by 4.8%)
  9. Silk: $1.1 million (Down by -22.3%)
  10. Miscellaneous animal-origin products: $275,000 (Up by 32.2%)

Tajikistan has highly positive net exports in the international trade particularly for zinc, lead and copper ores and concentrates. In turn, these cashflows indicate Tajikistan’s strong competitive advantages under the ores, slag and ash product category.


Overall, Tajikistan incurred a -$2.1 billion product trade deficit for 2018 up by 15.6% from -$1.8 billion in red ink one year earlier.

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

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$484 million (Up by 14.3% since 2017)
  2. Vehicles: -$280.1 million (Up by 46.6%)
  3. Iron, steel: -$267.8 million (Up by 51.3%)
  4. Machinery including computers: -$257.1 million (Up by 60.5%)
  5. Cereals: -$182.3 million (Down by -11.3%)
  6. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$160 million (Up by 28.5%)
  7. Wood: -$123.6 million (Down by -5.9%)
  8. Inorganic chemicals: -$105.2 million (Down by -19.4%)
  9. Articles of iron or steel: -$100.3 million (Up by 39.6%)
  10. Plastics, plastic articles: -$84.5 million (Up by 11.9%)

Tajikistan has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits particularly for refined petroleum oils and petroleum gas under the mineral fuels-related products category.


Tajikistani Export Companies

Not one Tajikistani corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 for 2018.

Wikipedia lists exports-related companies from Tajikistan. Selected examples are shown below:

  • First MicroFinance Bank-Tajikistan (commercial bank)
  • Somon Air (airliner)
  • Tajik Aluminium Company (aluminum manufacturing)


Tajikistan’s capital city is Dushanbe.

See also Kazakhstan’s Top 10 Exports, Turkey’s Top 10 Exports and Uzbekistan’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook report on Central Asia: Tajikistan. Accessed on April 3, 2019

Forbes 2018 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 3, 2019

Foreign Trade , United States Census Bureau. Accessed on July 4, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on July 4, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 4, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 3, 2019

Wikipedia, Category:Companies of Tajikistan. Accessed on April 3, 2019

Wikipedia, Flag of Tajikistan. Accessed on April 3, 2019

Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on July 4, 2019

Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on July 4, 2019

Wikipedia, Tajikistan. Accessed on April 3, 2019

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Accessed on April 3, 2019