The National Bank explained that exports have fallen by nearly 20% due to reduced oil supplies.
The National Bank has conducted a preliminary assessment of Kazakhstan’s balance of payments based on the results of the first quarter of 2021. The current account deficit is $1.2 billion. The main reason for the deficit is the decrease in exports of goods and the increase in import flows. Azat Uskenbayev, head of NBRK’s international balance of payments department, said that the correspondent of the Kapital.kz Business Information Center referred to the press service of the National Bank.
Exports fell by 19.9% to US$11.5 billion, mainly due to the decline in oil exports, which accounted for 48.5% of total exports. The decline is due to the relatively low oil price in the fourth quarter of 2020 (US$44.3 per barrel), which is reflected in the export statistics for the first quarter of 2021.
“Imported goods are supported by the recovery of business activities and the deferred domestic demand. It increased by 4.8% year-on-year to US$7.6 billion, which was attributed to the increase in imports of non-food and investment consumer goods. The largest increase was in imports of consumer goods such as automobiles, clothing, and computers. These commodity groups have increased by $500 million compared to the first quarter of 2020,” Azat Uskenbaev said.
Kazakhstan’s balance of payments continues to be characterized by a positive trade balance and a negative income and expenditure. In the first quarter of 2021, the investment income balance deficit increased by $700 million. Direct investor income reached US$4.3 billion, an increase of 20.6% over the same period last year.
“The preliminary current account data for the first quarter of 2021 corresponds to the forecast trajectory of the National Bank. According to our forecast, according to changes in oil prices, this year’s deficit will increase from (-) 2.8 to (-) 4.8 billion U.S. dollars. He Explained that based on the upcoming “May-June 2021” forecast, our expectations will be clarified.
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