That dollar amount reflects a 23.9% increase from $1.76 billion five years earlier in 2018.
Year over year, overall sales of Kyrgyzstan’s exported goods accelerated by 31.8% compared to $$1.66 billion during 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Kyrgyzstani som depreciated by -22.2% against the US dollar since 2018 but increased by 0.6% from 2021 to 2022. Kyrgyzstan’s weaker local currency compared to 2018 makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Kyrgyzstan’s Top Trading Partners
Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked Central Asian nation surrounded by the much larger Kazakhstan to its north, China to its east, Uzbekistan to its west and southwest, and Tajikistan to its southwest.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 94.1% of products exported from the Kyrgyz Republic was bought by importers in: Russia (44.1% of the Kyrgyzstani total), Kazakhstan (20%), Uzbekistan (10.8%), Türkiye (6.4%), United Arab Emirates (4.6%), mainland China (2.8%), Belarus (1.6%), Afghanistan (1%), Hong Kong (0.74%), Germany (0.72%), Belgium (0.68%) and Iran (0.62%).
From a continental perspective, 50.2% of the Kyrgyz Republic’s exports by value was delivered to European countries while 49.5% was sold to importers also in Asia.
Tinier percentages went to buyers in to North America (0.2%), Africa (0.1%), Latin America (0.02%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania (0.01%) led by Australia.
Given Kyrgyzstan’s population of 6.8 million people, its total $2.2 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $320 for every resident in the Central Asian country. That dollar metric exceeds the average $250 per capita one year earlier during 2021.
Kyrgyzstan’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Kyrgyzstani global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Kyrgyzstan.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$194.6 million (8.9% of total exports)
- Cotton: $169.9 million (7.8%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $138.5 million (6.3%)
- Vegetables: $119.9 million (5.5%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $119.4 million (5.5%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $104.1 million (4.8%)
- Copper: $88 million (4%)
- Vehicles: $80.1 million (3.7%)
- Machinery including computers: $78 million (3.6%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $76.7 million (3.5%)
The Kyrgyz Republic’s top 10 exports generated over half (53.5%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Cotton was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 393.4% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was unknit and non-crocheted clothing or accessories via a 272.5% advance.
The Kyrgyz Republic’s shipments of machinery including computers posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 173.6%.
The lone decliner among the Kyrgyz Republic’s top 10 export categories was ores, slag and ash, pulled down by a -14.8% year-over-year reduction.
The above listed product categories are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level.
Drilling down to the more detailed four-digit HTS codes, Kyrgyzstan’s most valuable exported product is processed petroleum oils (6.6% of the Kyrgyzstani total), precious metal ores and concentrates (6.1%), copper scrap (4%), dried shelled vegetables (also 4%), mostly cotton yarn (3.9%), phone devices including smartphones (3.8%), automobile parts or accessories (2.5%), wide-knit or crocheted fabrics (2.3%), bars and rods made from iron or non-alloy steel (also 2.3%), then mostly cotton woven fabrics (2.2%).
Products Generating Kyrgyzstan’s Best Trade Surpluses
The following types of Kyrgyzstani 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. Cotton: US$161.6 million (2.2% of total exports)
2. Ores, slag, ash: $136.1 million (1.8%)
3. Copper: $81 million (1.1%)
4. Live animals: $64.3 million (0.9%)
5. Vegetables: $34.8 million (0.5%)
6. Dairy, eggs, honey: $15.7 million (0.2%)
7. Glass: $14.6 million (0.2%)
8. Fish: $12.9 million (0.2%)
9. Lead: $6.8 million (0.1%)
10. Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather:$4.6 million (0.1%)
Kyrgyzstan has highly positive net exports in the international trade of cotton, precious-metal and copper ores or concentrates. In turn, these cashflows indicate Kyrgyzstan’s strong competitive advantages under the cotton and ores, slag and ash product categories.
Products Causing Kyrgyzstan’s Worst Trade Deficits
The Kyrgyz Republic incurred an overall -US$7.44 billion trade deficit for 2022 expanding by 90.3% from the -$3.9 billion in red ink one year earlier in 2021.
Below are exports from Kyrgyzstan that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Kyrgyzstan’s goods trail Kyrgyzstani importer spending on foreign products.
- Machinery including computers: -US$1 billion (Up by 152% since 2021)
- Mineral fuels including oil: -$867.9 million (Up by 12%)
- Knit or crochet fabric: -$665.1 million (Up by 188.3%)
- Vehicles: -$654.3 million (Up by 168.1%)
- Footwear: -$485.7 million (Up by 240.6%)
- Other base metal goods: -$413.4 million (Up by 756.2%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$409.1 million (Up by 63.5%)
- Manmade filaments: -$248.6 million (Up by 250.4%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$243.5 million (Up by 56.3%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$235.6 million (Up by 28.8%)
Kyrgyzstan has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for mineral fuels-related products, particularly refined petroleum oils and, to a lesser extent, petroleum gases, electrical energy and petroleum coke or residues.
Kyrgyzstani Export Companies
Not one Kyrgyzstani corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2018.
Wikipedia does list some exporters from Kyrgyzstan. Selected examples are shown below.
- Air Kyrgyzstan (domestic & international airliner)
- Asia Universal Bank (commercial bank)
- Enesay (beverages)
- Shoro (beverages)
In macroeconomic terms, Kyrgyzstan’s total exported goods represent 5.4% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($40.3 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 5.4% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 4.7% one year earlier. Those percentages seem to indicate a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Kyrgyzstan’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Kyrgyzstan’s unemployment rate averaged 9.014% in 2022, same as one year earlier according to the International Monetary Fund.
The Kyrgyz Republic’s capital city is Bishkek.
See also Kazakhstan’s Top 10 Exports, Crude Oil Exports by Country and Gold Exports by Country
Central Intelligence Agency, Country Profiles, The World Factbook. Accessed on June 29, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 29, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on June 29, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 29, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 29, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 29, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 29, 2023
Wikipedia, Kyrgyzstan. Accessed on June 29, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Kyrgyzstan. Accessed on June 29, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 29, 2023
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Accessed on June 29, 2023