• KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 373

Kyrgyzstan Remains Import-Dependent

At a press conference on April 11, Minister of Economy and Commerce of the Kyrgyz Republic Daniyar Amangeldiev reported that amounting to $2.255 billion in January- February, Kyrgyzstan’s foreign trade turnover had increased by a 28.3% compared to the previous year. Kyrgyzstan’s exports increased by 18.4% to $307.5 million and imports rose by 30%, to $1.947 billion. At the beginning of the year, Kyrgyzstan’s trade with fellow members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) — Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia — amounted to $482.7 million, illustrating a fall of 17.9% compared to the same period in 2023. Most of the country’s trade with the EAEU was with Russia (69.4%) and Kazakhstan (28.2%). Compared to January-February 2023, Kyrgyzstan’s trade with other countries grew 1.5-fold and reached $1.8 billion.

New Freight Port in Iraq Offers Kazakh Companies Long-Term Prospects

The Association of Kazakhstan Freight Railway Carriers is reporting that an Emirati company, AD Ports, is planning to build a new port and economic zone. The area that the company has identified for the zone is located to the south of the Iraqi city of Basra; if the project goes ahead, it will be an alternative to Egypt's Suez Canal in transcontinental freight shipping. "AD Ports (an Abu Dhabi-based port and logistics operator) has signed a preliminary agreement with the state-owned company managing Iraqi ports to establish a joint venture," commented the Kazakh freight association. According to them, AD's plan, centering on the new port called Grand Faw, is to create a corridor for Asian-European trade, bypassing the Egyptian city of Suez. The Grand Faw Port is set to become one of the largest in the Middle East, with terminals for handling containerized, bulk and liquid cargo. The corridor is expected to be ready by 2038. In Kazakhstani it is believed that the project is promising, but extremely costly. "We should not forget that all land logistics corridors are more costly than sea corridors. That's why Kazakhstan has such problems with logistics -- it has no access to the sea. Even if the Suez Canal is closed and the Panama Canal shoals [becomes shallow], sea transport will be more profitable. Yes, alternatives are needed. However, I would not count heavily on the new project," economist Andrei Chebotarev told The Times of Central Asia. Chebotarev referenced Kazakhstan's plan to build the North-South transport corridor. A new logistics route alternative to Suez would be a good addition; however, so far the UAE hasn't included Kazakhstan in its plans. Due to the recent attacks by Yemen's Houthi rebels on vessels in the Red Sea, the volume of maritime traffic through the Suez Canal has decreased, which in turn has increased demand for freight transport via multimodal routes.

Kyrgyzstan Ranked 6th Largest Importer of Chinese Cars

According to China’s customs statistics, in January-February 2024, Kyrgyzstan imported cars from China worth $510.3 million. Rising from 43rd place in 2023, Kyrgyzstan was ranked the world’s 6th largest buyer of Chinese cars at the beginning of this year. Only 5 countries exceeded Kyrgyzstan’s expenditure on Chinese cars in the same period: Russia, $1.5 billion; Belgium, $1.1 billion; UK, $1 billion; Mexico, $660 million; and Brazil, $590 million. As reported by Kyrgyzstan’s National Statistics Committee, in 2023 Kyrgyzstan imported 79,131 cars worth around $1.2 billion from China, an almost 45-fold increase compared to the 1,773 cars imported in 2022. One of the key reasons for the recent steep rise in Kyrgyzstan’s importation of Chinese cars is the war in Ukraine. As a result of Western sanctions, China has fast become Russia’s main supplier of new cars, a large percentage of which are re-exported to the country by Central Asia, especially Kyrgyzstan.

Russia Reportedly Asks Kazakhstan for Extra Gasoline Amid Shortage From Drone Strikes

According to Reuters, Russia has asked Kazakhstan for 100,000 tons of gasoline, as Russian gasoline wholesalers hedge against possible fuel shortages due to Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian oil refineries. Reuters cited three people familiar with the matter. "Sources say Moscow has asked Kazakhstan to stockpile an emergency reserve of 100,000 tonnes of petrol for deliveries to Russia. Arrangements have already been made to provide Kazakh petrol to Russia. Belarus is also ready to help the neighbouring country with fuel," it reports. However, Kazakhstan's Ministry of Energy, through energy minister Shyngys Ilyasov, has not confirmed this information. Due to Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian refineries in early 2024, output of oil products in Russia fell by almost 14%. The drone strikes hit notable refineries such as Rosneft's Ryazan and Novokuibyshevsk complexes and Tatneft's Taneko refinery. The authorities claim that there is no fuel shortage on the Russian domestic market and that there is enough gasoline in stock. Nevertheless, Russia has introduced a temporary restriction on the export of fuel outside the country -- except to countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). According to Reuters estimates, as of April 5, Russia's AI-92 gasoline reserves amount to 307,700 tons, AI-95 reserves were 58,000 tons, and diesel reserves were 435,300 tons. Meanwhile, since the beginning of this year, in Kazakhstan has stopped 171 cases of illegal export of oil products, as reported by the State Revenue Committee. Thousands of liters of Kazakhstan's subsidized gasoline were intended to be exported outside the country. Most of the shadow-economy exports were found at the Kazakh-Russian border. Currently, Kazakhstan has a ban on the export of certain types of petroleum products.

Chinese Businesses Making Inroads into Kyrgyzstan’s Energy Sector

Chinese companies will repair two units of the Bishkek combined heat power plant (CHPP) and plan to invest more than $1 billion in other energy projects. Representatives of the Chinese company, TBEA visited the Bishkek CHPP, where it was decided that TBEA will send its specialists to overhaul the third and fourth power units, as well as train local specialists, the Ministry of Energy of Kyrgyzstan reported. TBEA chairman, Zhang Xin, together with the Kyrgyz Energy Minister, Taalaibek Ibraev, visited the Bishkek CHPP the previous day. The main topic under discussion was how to increase the electricity and heat capacity of the CHPP. Bishkek CHPP provides electricity to Bishkek and its suburbs, as well as heat to most apartment complexes in the capital. In 2017, TBEA built four new boiler units at the Bishkek CHPP with a total capacity of 300 MW. The Eximbank of China allocated a loan of $386 million back in 2013 for this purpose. After the accident at the CHPP in February this year, the Kyrgyz authorities decided to overhaul the old boilers. As a result, despite the corruption scandal in 2017, the same Chinese company will repair units three and four. Information on the reconstruction costs for the units has not yet been disclosed. When fully operational, Bishkek CHPP has 18 boiler units with a total capacity of 812 MW. Following the accident this winter, swathes of equipment failed and the total capacity of the CHPP was decreased by a large factor. Meanwhile, a Kyrgyz-Chinese business forum was held in Bishkek and attended by more than 60 companies, with contracts totaling $1.15 billion signed with various Chinese companies, mostly from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. According to the Kyrgyz Government, a project to build a coal logistics center with a conveyor belt on the border of the two countries has been agreed upon and signed. The Chinese company, Dachenglongyuan, will invest $440 million in the project. The same company is reportedly to invest another $700 million to build a wind farm in southern Kyrgyzstan. Contracts for coal exploration and mining were also signed. Some experts attribute the accident at the Bishkek CHPP to low-quality coal mined in the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan. One of President Japarov's campaign promises in 2020 was to end winter power outages and ensure the country's energy security. Despite the great opportunities for Chinese investors, however, many economists in Kyrgyzstan have warned against Kyrgyzstan's growing dependence on China. According to official data, as of January 1, 2024, Kyrgyzstan's debt stood at $6.3 billion, with about 40% of that owed to China's Eximbank.

Will Europe Learn Lessons From Central Asian Gas Failures to Secure Oil Imports Bypassing Russia?

Despite loud statements and reports, alternative routes for transporting oil from Kazakhstan and Central Asia to Europe remain only intentions. The desire of the EU to diversify its hydrocarbon suppliers is running into internal bureaucracy and a lack of understanding of how things work in Central Asia, which is in fact seeking to ship its energy in different directions.   Lost gas To start, it is worth recalling the Turkmenistan-Russia gas dispute of 2009. Before that, Gazprom bought gas from Central Asian countries at the border, swapping some volumes of domestic supplies with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and buying gas at prices lower than EU export rates. Gazprom explained this practice rather simply: there is no economic sense in transporting the gas through Russian territory, so at the border the price cannot be European (minus transportation) – this gas was consumed in Russia or supplied at preferential prices to Ukraine, while Russian gas was sent to Europe. In 2008, Turkmenistan produced 70.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas, exporting 47 bcm, with an increase in production and exports planned for 2009. According to the Energy Institute, gas consumption by European countries in 2022 amounted to 498.8 bcm, meaning Turkmenistan alone, assuming export volumes stabilized at 50 bcm per year, could cover 10% of Europe’s needs. That amount, 50 bcm of gas, is the annual consumption of Switzerland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway and North Macedonia combined. However, Turkmen gas would never reach Europe. When an agreement on the volumes and prices of gas purchases by Gazprom failed to be reached, 15 years ago, on April 9, 2009, there was an explosion and fire on the eastern branch of the Central Asia-Center (CAC) gas pipeline, at CAC-4. Subsequent negotiations to resume the transport of Turkmen gas between Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, which took place in September 2009 in Moscow, could not resolve the dispute. All these years, the media and European leaders have been talking about building the so-called Nabucco gas pipeline, which was to go from Central Asia, along the bottom of the Caspian Sea, through Azerbaijan and on to Germany and Austria. Its design began back in 2002. Note that by 2009, had the project been energetically implemented, Nabucco could have been built and the first deliveries would have begun. In 2022, gas consumption in Germany and Austria amounted to 77.3 bcm and 7.9 bcm, respectively, meaning supplies from Central Asia could cover at least half of their needs. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for a large-scale gas pipeline. The Central Asian countries wanted to supply gas to Europe via alternative routes, receiving European prices for their commodities, and Europe could have significantly diversified its gas imports. Another player, however, was closely watching Europe’s red tape and indecision – China.   Hidden dragon China understands how to work with Central Asia, and in 2007 construction of the first line of...

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