Kazakhstan flag Kazakhstan: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Kazakhstan

Foreign Trade in Figures

Kazakhstan is open to international trade. According to the World Bank, the share of international trade in 2020 amounted to 56.2% of GDP. Kazakhstan has an export-oriented economy that is highly dependent on shipments of oil and related products (73 percent of total exports). In addition to oil, its main export commodities include natural gas, ferrous metals, copper, aluminum, zinc and uranium. Kazakhstan's main export products are raw materials, notably oil, petroleum products, coal, iron ore, machinery. Cereals, wool and meat are other major exports. The country imports mainly machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers, Electrical, electronic equipment, and radiotelephone transmitting devices.

Kazakhstan's main international customers are China (19% of all exports), Italy and Russia, while the main suppliers are Russia (35%), China, South Korea and Germany. Russia and Kazakhstan have undertaken joint projects in many areas, including energy. The government aims to improve the country's integration abroad to increase investment in the country. The country has been a WTO member since 2015 and has trade agreements with many countries in its region. It is also a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan), and the Common Economic Zone (Belarus and Russia). The Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) was signed in 2015 between the country and the European Union, and a revised version entered into force in March 2020.

As oil and gas are among Kazakhstan's main exports, the country's trade balance depends is affected by global commodity prices. Kazakhstan’s total foreign trade turnover amounted to 91.3 billion USD over the period from January through November 2021, an increase of 15.4% compared to 79.1 billion USD during the same period last year. This means that the EU accounts for 31% of all Kazakh foreign trade. The increase is trade has largely been due to the increased amount of freight moving across Eurasia from China to Europe, with the trans-Kazakh route one of the heaviest used. Kazakh imports from China usually arrive by the same rail route and reached about US$8 billion in value in 2021. With these containers being offloaded at Kazakhstan, space is then available for Kazakh goods to continue west to Europe.Kazakhstan’s Statistics Committee has stated that Kazakhstan’s trade with the countries of the European Union reached 28.4 billion USD during the period January – November 2021, which is a 25.6% increase over the 22.6 billion USD achieved during the same period in 2020 (Silk road briefing, 2022).  In 2020, total U.S.–Kazakhstan goods trade was 2.3 billion USD, with the United States holding a negative trade balance of 461 million USD.

Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 25,17529,26632,53437,75737,222
Exports of Goods (million USD) 36,77648,30460,95657,30946,447
Imports of Services (million USD) 10,9979,94911,85011,3317,969
Exports of Services (million USD) 6,2556,2617,0707,4674,837

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 60.356.863.564.9n/a
Trade Balance (million USD) 9,25316,72825,57918,13010,506
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 5,49113,15020,91814,4147,442
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 28.524.425.928.4n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 31.832.437.636.4n/a

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) -
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

International Economic Cooperation
Kazakhstan is a member of the Organization of Shanghai Cooperation, the Eurasian Economic Community, the Common Economic Area and the Organization of Economic Cooperation.

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
Italy 14.5%
China 13.6%
Russia 9.7%
Netherlands 7.6%
France 6.3%
See More Countries 48.3%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
Russia 36.7%
China 17.1%
South Korea 8.9%
Italy 4.1%
Germany 3.9%
See More Countries 29.3%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.


Main Products

57.7 bn USD of products exported in 2019
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 58.1%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 6.0%
Copper, refined, and copper alloys, unwrought ...Copper, refined, and copper alloys, unwrought (excl. copper alloys of heading 7405) 4.3%
Ferro-alloysFerro-alloys 3.3%
Copper ores and concentratesCopper ores and concentrates 2.0%
See More Products 26.3%
38.4 bn USD of products imported in 2019
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 2.4%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.2%
Taps, cocks, valves and similar appliances for...Taps, cocks, valves and similar appliances for pipes, boiler shells, tanks, vats or the like, incl. pressure-reducing valves and thermostatically controlled valves; parts thereof 2.1%
Machinery, plant or laboratory equipment whether...Machinery, plant or laboratory equipment whether or not electrically heated (excl. furnaces, ovens and other equipment of heading 8514), for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature such as heating, cooking, roasting, distilling, rectifying, sterilizing, pasteurizing, steaming, drying, evaporating, vapourizing, condensing or cooling (excl. those used for domestic purposes); instantaneous or storage water heaters, non-electric; parts thereof 1.9%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 1.9%
See More Products 89.3%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.


To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.


Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: July 2022

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