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20.01.2021

In January-December 2020, Uzbekistan’s foreign trade turnover (FTT) reached US$36.3 billion, which, compared to the same period of 2019, decreased by US$5.45 billion (a decrease by 13.1%), the State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan said in a report.

Of the total volume of the FTT, exports made up US$15.12 billion (by January-December 2019, there was a decrease by 13.4%), and imports - US$21.17 billion (a decrease by 12.8%). As a result, the foreign trade balance amounted to a passive balance in the amount of US$6.04 billion.

If we compare the indicators of the infographic of foreign trade turnover by months, we can see that in 2019 there was a stable dynamics of the FTT with minor jumps in June and July. The same figures for 2020 illustrate a different picture. So, if the first two months were at the level of 2019, then since March there have been fluctuations characterized by changes in the situation in the world market. The sharp rise in the FTT in July and August was driven by gold exports.

In quarterly terms, the sharpest decrease in FTT volumes, compared to the same period of 2019, was noted in the II and IV quarters, which reached US$2.6 billion and US$1.69 billion, respectively.

The necessary resource base has been created in the republic to ensure stable and uninterrupted operation of enterprises and branches of the real economy. As a result of an increase in the production of products that replaced imported goods and the diversification of industrial production, significant changes have been achieved in the structure of exports. In addition, the strengthening of relations with neighboring states is noted, a lot of work is being done to develop relations in the socio-economic, commercial, industrial and cultural spheres with these countries. In particular, in recent years there have been significant changes in the WTO with neighboring states, for example, with such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The presence of an active foreign trade balance with Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Iran can be viewed as a positive result in the country’s foreign trade.

Among the 20 large partner countries in foreign economic activity, there is also an active foreign trade balance with four countries, in particular with such countries as Afghanistan (US$772.3 million), Kyrgyzstan (US$610.1 million), Tajikistan (US$307.2 million) and Iran (US$33.2 million). A passive balance of foreign trade turnover remains with the remaining 16 countries.

Today Uzbekistan carries out trade relations with almost 170 countries of the world. The largest volume of foreign trade turnover was recorded with the PRC (17.7%), the Russian Federation (15.5%), Kazakhstan (8.3%), the Republic of Korea (5.9%), Turkey (5.8%), Kyrgyzstan (2.5%) and Germany (2.3%).

In the structure of the republic’s foreign trade turnover, a significant share is noted in Tashkent, which is 34.2%, or US$12.42 billion. In this structure, the smallest share is recorded at the level of 1.2%, or US$421.7 million, which is noted in Surkhandarya area.

One third of the FTT volume falls on the CIS countries and, in recent years, this indicator has changed slightly. Despite the measures taken to strengthen cooperation with the CIS countries and comprehensive support of foreign trade, the share of foreign trade turnover of the CIS countries, compared to the same period in 2019, decreased by 2.0%. Over the same period of 2018, a decrease was noted by 3.7% and their share in foreign trade turnover, at the end of January-December 2020, amounted to 32.6%.

The volume of foreign trade turnover of other states in January-December 2020, compared to the same period in 2018-2019, increased accordingly and amounted to 67.4% of the total volume of foreign trade turnover.

The foreign trade turnover of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the CIS countries amounted to US$11.83 billion, of which the volume of exports amounted to US$4.1 billion, and the volume of imports - US$7.73 billion.

The largest volume of foreign trade turnover with the CIS countries was recorded with the Russian Federation (47.7%), Kazakhstan (25.5%), Kyrgyzstan (7.6%), Turkmenistan (4.5%) and Tajikistan (4.2%).

On 11 December 2020, the Republic of Uzbekistan received observer status in the Eurasian Economic Union. The foreign trade turnover of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the EAEU amounted to US$9.83 billion, of which the volume of exports amounted to US$3.17 billion, and the volume of imports - US$6.65 billion.

In January-December 2020, the total number of exporting entities amounted to 6,109 units, which ensured the increase in the volume of exports, excluding special exports, to US$9.32 billion (a decrease, compared to the same period in 2019, was 25.7%).

In the structure of exports, 86.8% are goods, which mainly fall on industrial products (19.2%), food products and live animals (8.8%), chemicals and similar products (5.4%).

Exports in December 2020 were marked at US$930.4 million compared to the same month in 2019, their decline amounted to US$673.5 million.

The dynamics of the export volume indicates that in the III quarter of 2020 its volume amounted to US$6.18 billion, in the IV quarter this figure decreased by US$3.53 billion and amounted to US$2.65 billion. Compared to the III quarter of 2020, a decrease was recorded 2.3 times.

Over the past three years, the volume of exports to the CIS countries has decreased, and their share in its total volume has decreased from 35.7% to 27.1%. Accordingly, the share in the total export volume of other foreign countries increased from 64.3% to 72.9%.

Compared to 2018-2019, our main partners in the export of goods and services in foreign trade turnover in January-December 2020 were such countries as China (12.8% of total exports), the Russian Federation (9.7%), Turkey (6.7%), Kazakhstan (6.0%), Afghanistan (5.1%), Kyrgyzstan (5.0%) and Tajikistan (2.7%). Their share in the total export volume reached 48.0%.

In the structure of the republic’s exports, a significant share is noted in the city of Tashkent, which is 19.5%, or US$2.95 billion. In the export structure, the smallest share is recorded at 0.8%, or US$124.1 million, which is noted in Jizzakh region.

The fruit and vegetable sector in Uzbekistan is an important segment in ensuring the food security of the country and regions. Therefore, in this area, all possible measures are being taken to accelerate the development of the production of fruit and vegetable products, which are yielding results.

Thus, the volume of exports of fruits and vegetables amounted to 1.48 million tons and, in value terms, exceeded US$1.008 billion (the rate of decline, compared to the same period in 2019, was respectively 16.5%). Based on this, 768.3 thousand tons of vegetables were exported for US$400.0 million, as well as 402.3 thousand tons of fruits and berries for US$353.9 million (the rate of decline in value terms, compared to the same period 2019, respectively amounted to 15.1% and 13.0%).

The main export markets for fruit and vegetable products are in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan. Such branches of agriculture as horticulture, horticulture and viticulture developed at an accelerated pace. So, in January-December 2020, the share of fruits and vegetables in total exports amounted to 6.7%.

At the end of January-December 2020, the largest volume in value terms of exports of fruit and vegetable products falls on the Russian Federation (25.3% of the total volume of fruit and vegetable products), which exceeds the volume of exports to Afghanistan by 5.2 times.

The increase in the volume of exports of textile products can be directly considered as a result of reforms in the production of finished products and the formation of added value instead of the production of raw cotton. For example, at the end of January-December 2020, textile products were exported in the amount of US$1.92 billion, which was 12.7% of the total export volume and, compared to January-December 2019, it increased by 18.1%.

Cotton yarn (48.9%), as well as finished knitwear and garments (26.4%), account for the main share in the structure of textile exports. In January-December 2020, more than 498 types of textile products were exported to 70 countries.

The largest share of textile exports falls on the Russian Federation (US$655.5 million - 34.1%), China (US$438.2 million - 22.8%) and Kyrgyzstan (US$283.9 million - 14.8%).

The volume of exports of services in January-December 2020 amounted to US$2.004 billion, or 13.2% of the total volume of trade exports and decreased, compared to the same period in 2019, by 41.7%. Transport services (71.0%), travel (tourism) (12.8%), telecommunications, computer and information services (8.3%), and other business services (2.9%) account for the lion’s share of the export of services.

At the same time, other services (5.0%), respectively, account for the largest share of construction (2.2%), financial services (1.0%), insurance and pension services (0.9%), etc.

During the reporting period, imports amounted to US$21.17 billion (a decrease in growth rates, compared to January-December 2019, amounted to 12.8%). The main share in its structure is occupied by machinery and transport equipment (37.6%), industrial goods (16.9%), as well as chemicals and similar products (13.7%).

An analysis of the dynamics of imports of goods also showed that in January-December 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, the volume of imports of goods decreased by US$1.91 billion and amounted to US$19.95 billion, while imports of services reached US$1.21 billion.

Imports in December 2020 were marked at US$2.4 billion. Compared to the same month in 2019, imports increased by US$119.3 million. 

A quarterly analysis of 2020 showed that imports of goods and services decreased, compared to the same period in 2019, in the first quarter, respectively, by US$2.03 billion (-29.9%), in the second - by US$1.18 billion (-19.7%) in III - by US$1.26 billion (-18.9%). Only in the IV quarter of 2020, the volume of imports practically became equal to the volume in the IV quarter of 2019.

Despite the general background of a decrease in imports of goods, there is an increase in some groups of commodity items, for example, such as medical and pharmaceutical products - US$1.17 billion (an increase of 24.6%), essential oils, resinoids and perfumery substances, toilet preparations, polishes and detergents - US$237.9 million (+ 21.5%), cereals and products from them - US$733.2 million (+ 36.1%).

In recent years, the dynamics of the preservation of the share of imports with the CIS countries and other foreign countries, which, within the limits, is a ratio of 36.5: 63.5.

In general, in January-December 2020, goods and services from 147 countries were imported to the Republic of Uzbekistan. A third of imports (US$15.23 billion) are accounted for by such large partner countries as China (the share in total imports is 21.3%), the Russian Federation (19.7%), the Republic of Korea (10.0%) , Kazakhstan (9.9%), Turkey (5.1%), Germany (3.6%) and the Czech Republic (2.4%).

In the structure of the republic’s imports, a significant share is noted in the city of Tashkent, which is 44.7%, or US$9.47 billion. The smallest share is recorded in the Republic of Karakalpakstan - 0.8%, or US$176.3 million.

The volume of imports of services in January-December 2020 amounted to US$1.21 billion, or 5.7% of its total volume and decreased, compared to the same period in 2019, by 49.9%. Travel (tourism - 36.4%), other business services (15.2%), transport services (13.2%) and telecommunications, computer and information services (10.7%) account for the bulk of imports of services. In addition, other services accounted for 24.5% of total imports of services, including a high share of fees for the use of intellectual property (9.3%), construction services (8.9%), maintenance and repair services (3 , 4%), etc.

The quarantine restrictions imposed during the pandemic have also impacted the service sector. In particular, as a result of restrictions on the transit of international traffic by countries of the near and far abroad, the import of transport services decreased 2.6 times and amounted to US$160.0 million. At the same time, compared to 2019, the import of some services increased. In particular, imports of telecommunications services reached US$93.8 million (an increase of 66.6%), computer services and software increased by 1.6 times and amounted to US$19.7 million.

At the end of January-December 2020, the volume of machinery and transport equipment in the structure of imports reached US$7.95 billion and decreased, compared to the same period of 2019, by 16.9%, in general, the share in the total volume of imports amounted to 37.6 %. The decrease in the volume of imports of machinery and transport equipment was due to non-specialized machinery and equipment for industry (by 17.6%), as well as machinery specially designed for specific industries (by 14.9%).

It is important to note that the increasing volume of imports of machinery and equipment is a reflection of the policy of industrialization, as well as active reform to support foreign direct investment in the creation, modernization and increase of production capacity.

In January-December 2020, the volume of industrial goods in the structure of imports reached US$3.58 billion and decreased, compared to the same period in 2019, by 13.6%, in general, the share in the total volume of imports was 16.9%.

The main imports of industrial goods are in cast iron and non-alloy steel products (US$761.7 million), rubber tires and tubes for all types of wheels (US$210.1 million), aluminum (US$203.4 million), paper and cardboard (US$202.4 million), plywood, particle board, other processed wood (US$201.0 million), etc.

https://www.uzdaily.uz/en/post/63110

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