Based on the average exchange rate for 2020, the Tajikistani somoni depreciated by -29.1% against the US dollar since 2016 and declined by -6.1% from 2019 to 2020. 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 96.3% of products exported from Tajikistan were bought by importers in: Switzerland (45.4% of the global total), Turkey (15.5%), Kazakhstan (11.6%), Uzbekistan (6.3%), Afghanistan (5.3%), Russia (3.1%), China (2.6%), Belgium (2.4%), Italy (1.2%), Pakistan (1.1%), Georgia (1%) and Latvia (0.8%).
From a continental perspective, 53.7% of Tajikistani exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 45.7% were sold to importers in Asia.
Given Tajikistan’s population of 9.5 million people, its total $1.3 billion in 2020 exports translates to roughly $140 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 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Tajikistan.
- Gems, precious metals: US$596.1 million (45.4% of total exports)
- Cotton: $173.9 million (13.3%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $158.2 million (12.1%)
- Aluminum: $140.4 million (10.7%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $60.3 million (4.6%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $55.7 million (4.2%)
- Other base metals: $32.4 million (2.5%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $17.3 million (1.3%)
- Iron, steel: $11 million (0.8%)
- Fruits, nuts: $10.9 million (0.8%)
Tajikistan’s top 10 exports accounted for 95.8% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Gems and precious metals was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 164% year over year since 2019 propelled principally by international gold sales. In second place for improving export sales was mineral fuels including oil which rose 56.5%. Tajikistan’s shipments of miscellaneous base metals posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 40.6% year over year.
The leading decliner among Tajikistan’s top 10 export categories was ores, slag and ash which fell -46.7%.
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, gold (45.3% of total) represents Tajikistan’s most valuable exported product followed by raw aluminum (10.4%), uncarded cotton (also 10.4%), lead ores and concentrates (5.9%), hydraulic cements (4.6%), zinc ores and concentrates (4.4%), electrical energy (4.2%), cotton yarn (2.8%) then miscellaneous ores and concentrates (1.1%).
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.
- Gems, precious metals: US$594.2 million (Up by 168.3% since 2019)
- Cotton: $172.3 million (Down by -3%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $157.2 million (Down by -46.8%)
- Aluminum: $127.1 million (Down by -24.9%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $49.5 million (Down by -12.5%)
- Other base metals: $32.3 million (Up by 41.3%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $7.8 million (Up by 359.1%)
- Gums, resins, other vegetable saps: $6 million (Down by -16.9%)
- Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $2.8 million (Up by 6.9%)
- Silk: $302,000 (Down by -36.8%)
Tajikistan has highly positive net exports in the international trade mostly for gold. In turn, these cashflows indicate Tajikistan’s strong competitive advantages under the gems and precious metals product category.
Overall, Tajikistan incurred a -$1.8 billion product trade deficit for 2020 down by -17.4% from -$2.2 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$471.7 million (Down by -15.4% since 2019)
- Cereals: -$263.2 million (Up by 10.9%)
- Iron, steel: -$231.4 million (Up by 7.7%)
- Machinery including computers: -$212.6 million (Down by -14%)
- Vehicles: -$211.2 million (Down by -27.3%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$121 million (Down by -28.7%)
- Wood: -$120.7 million (Down by -5.2%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$114.4 million (Up by 7.7%)
- Inorganic chemicals: -$106 million (Down by -17.3%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$96.1 million (Down by -5.3%)
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 3.9% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2020 ($33.7 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 3.9% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2020 compares to 3.3% for 2019. 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 2020, down from 2.2% two years 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 March 6, 2021
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 6, 2021
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 6, 2021
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 6, 2021
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 6, 2021
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 6, 2021
Richest Country Reports, Key Statistics Powering Global Wealth. Accessed on March 6, 2021
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 6, 2021
Wikipedia, Category:Companies of Tajikistan. Accessed on March 6, 2021
Wikipedia, Flag of Tajikistan. Accessed on March 6, 2021
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 6, 2021
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on March 6, 2021
Wikipedia, Tajikistan. Accessed on March 6, 2021
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Accessed on March 6, 2021