Kazakhstan’s imports in the first half of the year increased by 15.9% year-on-year

International Business News  –  Akylzhan Baimagambetov, Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Kazakhstan, presented the situation of import of goods in Kazakhstan, Atameken Business Network news. The first half of this year. Despite global supply chain disruptions, Kazakhstan’s goods imports increased by 15.9% compared to the same period last year to $20.7 billion, and according to forecasts, growth will be 11.3% to $44.2 billion by the end of 2022 and about 3.4% to $45.7 billion by 2023. The growth in residential consumption and business demand will continue to contribute to the growth in import volumes. In addition, significant budget expenditures for the implementation of state programs and measures to support the economy are affected.

Imports of intermediate and investment goods are expected to increase the most. Imports of these goods are expected to grow by 11.4% to $32 billion in 2022 and by 0.9% to $32.3 billion in 2023. This is due to the increase in the cost of raw materials and the implementation of investment projects and programs in the public and private sectors.

Initiatives such as preferential auto loans and expansion of domestic production capacity will support the import of large automotive assembly parts. As you can see from the statistics, imports doubled in the first half of the year to $1 billion. Despite the geopolitical crisis. Russian imports declined only slightly in April. However, if there is a further decrease in purchases from Russia, the trend of growth in imports of intermediate and investment products will continue, as demand is partly shifted to new markets.

Akylzhan Baimagambetov made the same forecast for imports of consumer goods, according to his data, which are also growing, but at a slower pace than imports of intermediate and investment goods. In 2021, consumer goods imports reached $12.4 billion, the highest level since 2014. According to this year’s forecast, it will surpass that level, reaching $13.5 billion. Expectations for 2022 are based on multiple factors. This will lead to lower consumer imports due to a drop in supply due to disruptions in logistics supply chains and Russia’s ban on exports of some commodities, such as sugar and cars. Of course, relocating new transit routes will, and take time, affect prices.

On the other hand, in the absence of domestic production in Kazakhstan, year-on-year growth in domestic demand will drive growth in consumer goods imports. Effective demand will be supported by residents’ personal funds and borrowed funds in the form of consumer loans. Combined, these factors will drive a projected 8.6% increase in consumer imports in 2022. On the consumer import side, it is planned to include estimates of grey car imports in the final balance of payments indicator. Official car imports have tripled over the past few years, from $417 million in 2016 to $1.3 billion in 2021. At the same time, the Kazakh car market is rapidly expanding through personal and unofficial imports of cars. In the EAEU countries, first of all Russia, such car imports are not included in official statistics because there are no tariffs within the EAEU. The Central Bank of Kazakhstan has conducted its own assessment of the grey car imports and plans to release more detailed data in October.