A landlocked Central Asian country that shares its southern border with Afghanistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan shipped an estimated US$11.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 10% increase since 2017 and a 1.5% gain from 2018 to 2019.
From a continental perspective and based on the latest available data in 2018, 53.3% of Uzbekistani exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 46.3% were sold to Europe importers. Smaller percentages went to importers in North America (0.2%), Africa (0.1%), Latin America (also 0.1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania led by Australia (0.002%).
Given Uzbekistan’s population of 33 million people, its total $11.1 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $350 for every resident in the Central Asian nation.
Uzbekistan’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Uzbekistani global shipments during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Uzbekistan.
- Gems, precious metals: US$5.1 billion (46% of total exports)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $1.4 billion (12.3%)
- Cotton: $1.1 billion (9.8%)
- Copper: $797.5 million (7.2%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $440.7 million (4%)
- Fruits, nuts: $412.7 million (3.7%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $282.5 million (2.5%)
- Vegetables: $218.4 million (2%)
- Zinc: $191.6 million (1.7%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $156.4 million (1.4%)
Uzbekistan ’s top 10 exports accounted for 90.7% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Inorganic chemicals represent the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 292.2% from 2018 to 2019. In second place for improving export sales was gems and precious metals via a 68.9% gain, powered by increased international sales of gold and silver. Uzbekistan’s shipments of copper posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 28.1%.
The leading decliner among Uzbekistan’s top 10 export categories was mineral fuels including oil thanks to a -48.7% drop weighed down by lower revenues from exported petroleum gases.
From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, gold represents Uzbekistan ’s most valuable exported product at 44.4% of the country’s total. In second place were petroleum gases (12.1%) trailed by cotton yarn (7.5%), refined copper and unwrought alloys (5.6%), ethylene polymers (3.7%), zinc (1.7%), grapes (1.5%), uncarded and uncombed cotton (also 1.5%) and silver (1.3%).
The following types of Uzbekistani 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.
- Gems, precious metals: US$5 billion (Up by 70% since 2018)
- Cotton: $1 billion (Up by 3%)
- Copper: $787.9 million (Up by 29.2%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $776.1 million (Down by -56.6%)
- Fruits, nuts: $400.1 million (Down by -22.9%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $255.2 million (Up by 3.2%)
- Zinc: $191.3 million (Up by 2.2%)
- Vegetables: $189.6 million (Down by -27.3%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $89.6 million (Reversing a -$38.9 million deficit)
- Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $28.2 million (Down by -77%)
Uzbekistan has highly positive net exports in the international trade of gold. In turn, these cashflows indicate Uzbekistan’s strong competitive advantages under the gems and precious metals category.
Overall Uzbekistan incurred a -$7.8 billion trade deficit for 2019, expanding by 22.8% from -$6.4 billion in red ink one year earlier.
Below are exports from Uzbekistan that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Uzbekistan’s goods trail Uzbekistani importer spending on foreign products.
- Machinery including computers: -US$4.1 billion (Down by -8.3% since 2018)
- Vehicles: -$2.2 billion (Up by 13.7%)
- Iron, steel: -$1.3 billion (Up by 33.2%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$1.1 billion (Up by 39.8%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$654.5 million (Up by 13.9%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$587.9 million (Down by -30.1%)
- Wood: -$528.1 million (Down by -14.5%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: -$488 million (Up by 160.7%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$471.9 million (Up by 66.1%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: -$471.8 million (Up by 93.3%)
Uzbekistan has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the machinery including computers category.
Uzbekistani Export Companies
Not one Uzbekistani corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists exports-related companies from Uzbekistan. Selected examples are shown below.
- Avialeasing (cargo airliner)
- MAN Auto-Uzbekistan (vehicles)
- Navoi Mining and Metallurgy Combinat (uranium, precious metals)
- SamKochAvto (buses, trucks)
- Tashkent Aviation Production Assoc. (aircraft)
- Uzbekneftegaz (oil, gas)
In macroeconomic terms, Uzbekistan’s total exported goods represent 3.7% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2019 ($297.2 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 3.7% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2019 compares to 3.4% for 2018. Those metrics suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Uzbekistan’s total economic performance albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Uzbekistan’s average unemployment rate was 5.5% in 2019 down from 5.2% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.
Uzbekistan’s capital city is Tashkent, translated as “City of Stones” from Uzbek.
See also Gold Exports by Country, Grapes Exports by Country and Capital Facts for Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Central Asia: Uzbekistan. Accessed on June 17, 2020
Forbes 2019 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 17, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 17, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 17, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 17, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 17, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Uzbekistan. Accessed on June 17, 2020
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 17, 2020