A landlocked, mountainous nation in Central Asia, the Republic of Tajikistan shipped US$1.116 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 3.9% gain from 2018 to 2019 and a 24.3% increase since 2015.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, the Tajikistani somoni depreciated by -57.1% against the US dollar since 2015 and declined by -5.9% from 2019 to 2019. Tajikistan’s weaker local currency makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 95.2% of products exported from Tajikistan were bought by importers in: Turkey (21% of the global total), Switzerland (20.2%), Kazakhstan (19.6%), Uzbekistan (15.4%), China (5%), Russia (4%), Afghanistan (3.5%), Belgium (1.9%), Iran (1.6%), Latvia (1.1%), Kyrgyzstan (1%) and Italy (also 1%).
From a continental perspective, 69.4% of Tajikistani exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries while 29.4% were sold to importers in Europe. Tajikistan shipped much smaller percentages to the Caribbean (0.61%), North America (0.57%) and Africa (0.005%).
Given Tajikistan’s population of 9.3 million people, its total $1.116 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $120 for every resident in the Central Asian country.
Tajikistan’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Tajikistani global shipments during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Tajikistan.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$296.9 million (26.6% of total exports)
- Gems, precious metals: $225.8 million (20.2%)
- Cotton: $182.2 million (16.3%)
- Aluminum: $180.3 million (16.2%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $68.4 million (6.1%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $35.6 million (3.2%)
- Other base metals: $23.1 million (2.1%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $15.9 million (1.4%)
- Iron, steel: $10.5 million (0.9%)
- Vehicles: $10.4 million (0.9%)
Tajikistan’s top 10 exports accounted for 94% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Gems and precious metals represent the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 10,940% since 2018 and led by higher revenues from international gold revenues. In second place for improving export sales was iron and steel which was up by 86.6%. Tajikistan’s shipments of salt, sulphur, stone and cement was the only other value gainer up by 4.1% year over year.
The leading decliner among Tajikistan’s top 10 export categories was its mineral fuels-related exports which fell -55.1% mainly due to shrinking sales of its electricity.
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, gold (20.1% of total) represents Tajikistan’s most valuable exported product followed by aluminum (15.7%), uncarded cotton (12.5%), zinc ores and concentrates (11.5%), lead ores and concentrates (10.5%), hydraulic cements (6.1%), cotton yarn (3.6%), electrical energy (3.1%) then miscellaneous ores and concentrates (2.5%).
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.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$295.5 million (Down by -26% since 2018)
- Gems, precious metals: $221.5 million (Down by -7013%)
- Cotton: $177.7 million (Down by -11.6%)
- Aluminum: $169.2 million (Down by -9.9%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $56.6 million (Up by 6%)
- Other base metals: $22.9 million (Down by -13.9%)
- Gums, resins, other vegetable saps: $7.2 million (Up by 124.8%)
- Vegetables: $5.4 million (Reversing a -$2 million deficit)
- Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $2.6 million (Up by 3.9%)
- Lead: $2.2 million (Reversing a -$25,000 deficit)
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 -$2.2 billion product trade deficit for 2019 up by 6.8% from -$2.1 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.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US-$557.8 million (Up by 15.3% since 2018)
- Vehicles: -$290.5 million (Up by 3.7%)
- Machinery including computers: -$247.2 million (Down by -3.8%)
- Cereals: -$237.3 million (Up by 30.2%)
- Iron, steel: -$214.8 million (Down by -19.8%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$169.7 million (Up by 6.1%)
- Inorganic chemicals: -$128.1 million (Up by 21.8%)
- Wood: -$127.3 million (Up by 3%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$106.2 million (Up by 28.1%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$101.5 million (Up by 20.1%)
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.
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)
In macroeconomic terms, Tajikistan’s total exported goods represent 3.3% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2019 ($33.4 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 3.3% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2019 compares to 3.5% for 2018. This seems to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Tajikistan’s total economic performance, albeit based on a very short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Tajikistan’s unemployment rate was 2.1% at November 2019 down from 2.2% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.
Tajikistan’s capital city is Dushanbe.
See also Kazakhstan’s Top 10 Exports, Turkey’s Top 10 Exports and Uzbekistan’s Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on February 9, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 9, 2020
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on February 9, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 9, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on February 9, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on February 9, 2020
Richest Country Reports, Key Statistics Powering Global Wealth. Accessed on February 9, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on February 9, 2020
Wikipedia, Category:Companies of Tajikistan. Accessed on February 9, 2020
Wikipedia, Flag of Tajikistan. Accessed on February 9, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on February 9, 2020
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on February 9, 2020
Wikipedia, Tajikistan. Accessed on February 9, 2020
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Accessed on February 9, 2020