Uzbekistan Sold the Second Most Gold Last Year; Kazakhstan Held Top Spot

In 2023, Uzbekistan ranked second in the world in total gold sales, as the country sold more than 25 tons of the precious metal. That’s according to data provided by the World Gold Council. Kazakhstan, having sold twice as much gold, took first place on the list. Annual revenue from Uzbek gold exports reached $8.15bn — almost twice as much as in 2022. China bought the most gold last year, almost 230 tons. Poland, Singapore, Libya and the Czech Republic followed China on the list of top buyers.

At the end of last year, gold set another record price of $2,135.39 per troy ounce, the highest price since the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Experts attribute gold’s price gains to persistently high inflation and the conflict in the Middle East.

Uzbekistan, with 362 tons of gold reserves, ranks 15th in the world. Among the Central Asian republics, it’s outranked only by Kazakhstan with 402 tons of gold. The country’s gold reserves can act as a shock absorber or insurance policy for the national economy — which may be needed in cases of unfavorable macroeconomic conditions or as a defense against various financial or banking crises.

According to the Central Bank of Uzbekistan, as of February 6, a five-gram gold bar costs $335. The country’s central bank first began issuing and selling gold bars to the public in November 2020. They are made of pure, 999.9-grade gold weighing five, 10, 20 and 50 grams. They can be purchased through banks across  the republic at prices set by the regulator — based on quotes from international markets, the exchange rate of the sum against the U.S. dollar, as well as the regulator’s margin. The price of bullion is published daily.

According to Central Bank head Mamarizo Nurmuratov, “in the near future, Uzbekistan’s producers will be able to sell gold directly on the world market”. Currently, the Central Bank of Uzbekistan buys gold inside the country in sums and sells them for dollars on the foreign market.

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Times of Central Asia

Askar Alimzhanov graduated from the journalism department of the Kazakh State University named after S. Kirov, then worked as a correspondent for the daily republican newspaper Leninskaya Smen. He then moved to the United States to be a reporter for the daily newspaper "Cape Cod Times" in Hayanis, Massachusetts, (USA) under the journalist exchange program between the Union of Journalists of the USSR and the New England Society of News Editors. Since then, he has helped build transparency and understanding of Central Asia region in various executive level positions at esteemed media organizations including "Akbar"(Alma-Ata) international center for journalism, the Khabar News agency, the Television and Radio Corporation "Kazakhstan" JSC, and MIR- Kazakhstan.

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