That estimated dollar amount reflects a 24.7% increase from $61 billion during 2018.
Year over year, the overall value of Kazakhstani exports accelerated by 26% compared to $60.3 billion for 2021.
Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country. A Central Asian nation, Kazakhstan shares its southern border with Russia.
The top 3 most valuable exports from Kazakhstan are crude oil, unwrought gold and refined copper plus unwrought alloys. Add together, that trio of major Kazakhstani products approached two-thirds (64%) of the Central Asian country’s overall export sales in 2022.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, Kazakhstan uses the Kazakhstani tenge which depreciated by -33.5% against the US dollar since 2018 and diluted by -8% from 2021 to 2022. The weaker Kazakhstani currency in 2022 made Kazakhstan’s exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively lesser expensive for international buyers.
Kazakhstan’s Most Valuable Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that over three-quarters (76.6%) of products exported from Kazakhstan were bought by importers in: mainland China (16.2% of the Kazakhstani total), Italy (14.7%), Russia (11.6%), Netherlands (7.3%), Türkiye (4.9%), Uzbekistan (4.6%), France (4%), South Korea (3.1%), Spain (2.71%), India (2.7%), Romania (2.5%) and Greece (2.2%).
From a continental perspective, 54.6% of Kazakhstani exports by value was delivered to buyers in European countries while 42.5% was sold to fellow Asian importers. Kazakhstan shipped another 2.2% worth of goods to North America.
Tinier percentages went to Africa (0.5%), Latin America (0.2%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.02%) mostly Australia.
Given Kazakhstan’s population of 19.7 million people, its total $76 billion in 2022 exports translates to an estimated $3,900 for every resident in the Central Asian republic. That dollar metric eclipses the average $2,900 per capita one year earlier during 2021.
Kazakhstan’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Kazakhstani global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Kazakhstan.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$43.1 billion (56.8% of total exports)
- Gems, precious metals: $11 billion (14.5%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $4.3 billion (5.7%)
- Iron, steel: $4.1 billion (5.4%)
- Copper: $3.8 billion (5%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $2.4 billion (3.2%)
- Cereals: $1.2 billion (1.6%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $855.7 million (1.1%)
- Oil seeds: $639.1 million (0.8%)
- Zinc: $597.7 million (0.8%)
Kazakhstan’s top 10 exports accounted for 94.8% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Gems and precious metals was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 1,186% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales were oil seeds via a 67% advance.
Kazakhstan’s shipments of mineral fuels including oil posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 23.9%.
The leading decliner among Kazakhstan’s top 10 export categories was cereals, pulled down by a -27.3% year-over-year reduction. That drop was propelled by lower Kazakhstani sales of barley, wheat and rice on international markets.
The above listed exports are at the two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level.
Drilling down to the more detailed four-digit HTS codes, Kazakhstan’s most valuable export product is crude oil (46.5% of the country’s total). In second place was Kazakhstan’s exported unwrought gold (12.5%), refined copper plus unwrought alloys (5%), copper ores (4.1%), iron ferroalloys (4%), coal including solid fuels made from coal (3.2%), processed petroleum oils (3.1%), radioactive chemical elements (2.4%), petroleum gases (2.2%), then unwrought silver (1.7%).
Products Generating Kazakhstan’s Largest Trade Surpluses
Overall, Kazakhstan achieved an estimated $39.6 billion trade surplus for 2022 expanding by 109.6% compared to $18.9 billion in black ink 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 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.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$42.8 billion (Up by 28.6% since 2021)
- Gems, precious metals: $10.9 billion (Up by 2779.3%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $4.1 billion (Up by 34.4%)
- Iron, steel: $3.79 billion (Up by 18.1%)
- Copper: $3.76 billion (Up by 14.3%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $2.2 billion (Up by 3.7%)
- Cereals: $1.2 billion (Down by -14.9%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $831.6 million (Up by 35.7%)
- Zinc: $596.9 million (Down by -18.4%)
- Oil seeds: $558.3 million (Up by 122.4%)
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.
Products Causing Kazakhstan’s Worst Trade Deficits
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.
- Machinery including computers: -US$6 billion (Down by -8.4% since 2021)
- Vehicles: -$4.2 billion (Up by 44.1%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$3.8 billion (Up by 13.7%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): -$2.7 billion (Up by 579.5%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$1.6 billion (Down by -0.1%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$1.32 billion (Up by 180.1%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$1.28 billion (Down by -16.7%)
- Footwear: -$1.2 billion (Up by 119.3%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$1 billion (Up by 0.1%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: -$841.7 million (Up by 81.1%)
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 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)
In macroeconomic terms, Kazakhstan’s total exported goods represent 12.6% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($602.9 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 12.6% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 10.1% one year earlier. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Kazakhstan’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Kazakhstan’s unemployment rate averaged 4.9% for 2022, the same as an average 4.9% one year earlier in 2021 according to the International Monetary Fund.
Astana is Kazakhstan’s capital city.
See also China’s Top Trading Partners, Italy’s Top Trading Partners, Russia’s Top Trading Partners, Netherlands Top Trading Partners, Turkey’s Top Trading Partners and xxx’s Top Trading Partners
Central Intelligence Agency, Country Profiles, The World Factbook. Accessed on June 7, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 7, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 7, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 7, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 7, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 7, 2023
Wikipedia, Kazakhstan. Accessed on June 7, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Kazakhstan. Accessed on June 7, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 7, 2023
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Astana, Kazakhstan. Accessed on June 7, 2023