_ Jyldyz Sarieva, University of Central Asia. Naryn, 24 January 2020.
Recently, various publications circulate materials on the difference in commodity circulations between Central Asian countries and major partners. Deficiencies were indicated in the figures between the figures of the customs services of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan with China. This article shows attempts to identify a similar situation in other countries of the region.
Import to Central Asian countries
To identify the commodity circulations deficiencies in 2018, we used import and export data from the International Trade Centre (ITC). The ITC’s data is the same as data of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
One of the ways of import implementation in Central Asian counties is through nearest and countries with stable import capacities like the Russian Federation, China, and Turkey.
According to China’s export to Kazakhstan in 2018, China exports 11,3 billion US Dollars. At the same time, Kazakhstan’s data is showing that Kazakhstan receives only 5,4 billion US Dollars. Therefore, the difference in commodity circulation is 5,9 billion US Dollars.
The same import deficiency is happening in Kyrgyzstan. According to Chinese data, Kyrgyzstan receives 5,5 billion US Dollars from China’s export. However, Kyrgyzstan’s statistics are showing import from China is 1,9 billion US Dollars, the difference is 3,6 billion US Dollars.
In Tajikistan, there is no significant difference in commodity circulation like in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Tajikistan’s data showing that it receives from China 594 million US Dollars, while according to China’s export the number is 1,4 billion US dollars. Thereby the difference is 832 million US Dollars.
The commodity circulation data of Central Asian counties with the Russian Federation contains not so many differences like in the case with China. The main imports from Russia receive Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan respectively.
Uzbekistan’s data is showing the smallest differences in imports from Russia in 17 million US Dollars.
According to Kazakhstan’s import from Russia, Kazakhstan receives 12,923,333,000 US Dollars, while according to Russia, Kazakhstan receives 12,992,138,000 US Dollars. The difference is 69 million US Dollars.
In Tajikistan, there is a bigger difference in commodity circulation with Russia. Tajikistan’s data shows that it receives 968 million US Dollars from Russia. At the same time, according to Russia’s export to Tajikistan is 850 million US Dollars. Therefore, the difference in import’s indicator is 118 million US Dollars.
There are no significant differences in commodity circulations between Central Asian counties and Turkey.
The particular difference is in Uzbekistan, since Uzbekistan shows that it receives from Turkey more than 1 billion US dollars. While according to Turkey, it sends to Uzbekistan 951 million US Dollars, the differences is 147 million US Dollars.
According to Turkey, the commodity circulation between Turkey and Kyrgyzstan is 377 million US Dollars. However, Kyrgyzstan’s data shows only 290 million US Dollars. Thereby, the difference in import to Kyrgyzstan from Turkey is 87 million US Dollars.
Tajikistan’s statistics show import from Turkey is 124 million US Dollars, while Turkey’s export data to Tajikistan is 177 million US Dollars. So, the difference in commodity circulation between Tajikistan and Turkey is 52 million US Dollars.
The smaller commodity circulation difference is in Kazakhstan 40 million US Dollars.
It is impossible to measure the differences of commodity circulations between Turkmenistan and three counties: China, Russia, and Turkey since there is no available data from Turkmenistan. Only China’s, Russia’s, and Turkey’s data are available to record the imports to Turkmenistan. Turkey exports 467 million US dollars to Turkmenistan, China exports 317 million US Dollars and Russia exports 289 million US Dollars.
Imported products to Central Asia from China
Besides commodity circulation’s huge differences between Central Asian counties and China, it is interesting to observe what kind of top five products China is exporting to Central Asia. To see the difference in imported products from China, we took measurement is in values in US Dollars with the Harmonized System4 (HS4) classified goods in a two-digit code system from International Trade Centre (ITC).
The top five imported products from China are different according to China’s report and Central Asian counties’ reports.
According to China, the top five imported products to Kyrgyzstan are articles of apparel, not knitted or crocheted; footwear; articles of apparel, knitted or crocheted; cotton; electrical equipment.
According to Kyrgyzstan, the top five exported products from China are footwear; mechanical appliances; electrical equipment; man-made staple fibres; articles of apparel, knitted or crocheted.
According to Kazakhstan, the top five exported products from China are mechanical appliances; electrical equipment, articles of iron and steel; articles of plastics; vehicles.
According to China, the top five imported products to Kazakhstan are mechanical appliances; electrical equipment; articles of apparel, not knitted; footwear; articles of apparel, knitted.
The biggest difference from China’s and Kazakhstan’s data on imported products to Kazakhstan are showing articles of apparel, not knitted or crocheted products: 1 billion US Dollars; footwear with 695 million US Dollars.
In Tajikistan, there are not significant dissimilarities like in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. There are differences in footwear product in 115 million US Dollars.
According to China, the top five products which are exporting from China are electrical equipment; mechanical appliances; footwear; articles of apparel, knitted or crocheted; article of iron or steel.
According to Uzbekistan and according to China, there are similar imported product to Uzbekistan from China: mechanical appliances; electrical equipment; plastics and articles thereof; iron and steel; articles of iron and steel.
However, the difference in products is bigger than in Tajikistan. Electrical equipment differences from China’s data and Uzbekistan’s data is 199 million US Dollars.
There is no data available from Turkmenistan, what kind of product and in what value they are importing from China. For this reason, only China’s data about imported products is used.
According to China, the top five imported products to Turkmenistan are mechanical appliances; articles of iron and steel; electrical equipment; rubber and articles thereof; plastics and articles thereof.
Export from Central Asia
Previously, the attention of different media platforms was only on import to Central Asian counties. Let us see export’s data from the region. What countries Central Asia is partnering to export own goods and the differences in commodity circulations. The main exported products from Central Asia mainly are raw materials and natural resources.
Data to observe export activities from Central Asian is taken from the International Trade Centre (ITC), which contains the same information as in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
According to Italy’s import data, Italy receives 2 billion US Dollars from Kazakhstan. At the same time, statistics of Kazakhstan shows Italy imported from Kazakhstan 11,7 billion US Dollar, the difference is 9,7 billion US Dollars.
Kazakhstan’s data shows export to China is 6,2 billion US dollars, while according to China is 8,5 billion US Dollars. Therefore, the difference of export from Kazakhstan to China is 2,3 billion US Dollars.
According to Netherlands import from Kazakhstan, it shows only 231 million US Dollars. However, according to Kazakhstan export to Netherlands is 6,2 billion US Dollars. Thereby, the commodity circulation difference is 5,9 billion US Dollars.
Right after Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan is showing different commodity circulations with China, Russia and Kazakhstan.
According to Russia, the commodity circulation with Uzbekistan is 1,1 billion US Dollars, however, according to Uzbekistan is 1,6 billion US Dollars which gives the differences in 573 million US dollars.
Statistics of Uzbekistan shows that export to Kazakhstan is 1,2 billion US Dollars, while Kazakhstan statistics shows only 844 million US Dollars, the differences in 375 million US Dollars.
Commodity circulation’s difference between China and Uzbekistan is 203 million US Dollars.
The three main export receiver countries from Tajikistan are Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Switzerland.
According to Switzerland, Tajikistan export to Switzerland 213 million US Dollars, while according to Tajikistan is 1,6 million US Dollars. Therefore, the difference is 211 million US Dollars.
Turkey’s statistics show that it imports from Tajikistan 201 million US Dollar, at the same time; Tajikistan’s data show that it exports to Turkey 276 million US Dollar. The commodity circulation difference between Turkey and Tajikistan is 75 million US Dollars.
Relatively smaller differences shown in Kyrgyzstan where export partners are the United Kingdom, neighboring Kazakhstan and Switzerland.
According to Kazakhstan’s data and Kyrgyzstan’s data, there is 39 million US Dollars difference in commodity circulation between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
The commodity circulation difference between United Kingdom and Kyrgyzstan is 12 million US Dollars, while Switzerland’s and Kyrgyzstan’s commodity circulation’s difference is 1,4 million US Dollars..
There is no Turkmenistan’s data about export, only its export partnering countries: China, Afghanistan and Turkey provide data on export from Turkmenistan. For this reason, it is impossible to see the differences.
The most significant difference in import is showing mainly data from China and Central Asian countries in 2018. Almost 5 billion US Dollars differences from China’s and Kazakhstan’s data, which is giving first place in dissimilarities among Central Asian counties. The second place is Kyrgyzstan with 3.6 billion US Dollars commodity circulation differences with China. In Tajikistan, the difference in import is 831 million US Dollars and 402 million US Dollars in Uzbekistan. There is no data from Turkmenistan, therefore, it is impossible to define the differences. From the import’s data of Russia and Turkey, there are not significant dissimilarities like with China.
Why there are differences in commodity circulation between Central Asian counties and China?
Macroeconomics’ exports and custom’s representatives say the reason might be because of different methodologies of measuring the values of products. Some countries along with volume, also consider value, thereby increasing indicators of commodity circulations. Moreover, China does count transit through Central Asia to other states as direct import to Central Asia which might affect on differences in commodity circulations between China and Central Asian countries.
All Central Asian counties are mainly exporting raw materials like crude petroleum, gold, raw aluminum, and petroleum gas. The main export partners of Central Asian counties are China, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, and Kazakhstan.