Uzbekistan forced to export gas according to the contract, contrary to own needs

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In October 2023, Uzbekistan exported natural gas to China worth $42.25 million, according to data from China's General Customs Administration, Gazeta.uz reports.

In April, Uzbekistan resumed the export of natural gas, totaling $40.47 million for that month. In May, the volume of deliveries increased to $78.16 million, followed by $85.27 million in June, $91.39 million in July, $75.27 million in August, and $41.6 million in September.

The total gas export for the year amounted to $454.4 million, which is half the figure for the same period last year - $916.17 million. This can be explained by the suspension of gas exports in January-March due to the energy crisis in Uzbekistan and the decline in domestic gas production.

Comparing the monthly figures, in October 2022, gas worth $148.5 million was supplied.

According to the statistics agency, Uzbekistan exported gas worth $458.2 million in the first 10 months, which is 1.9 times less than the same period last year ($871.3 million). Gas exports in October amounted to $48.4 million.

Gas imports amounted to $561.7 million, which is 2.1 times more than the indicator for the same period last year.

Gas production in Uzbekistan has dropped by 4.12 billion cubic meters to 38.96 billion cubic meters (-10.4%).

Thus, the country is turning into a gas importer amid declining production, despite its vast reserves of resources.

It is worth noting that in 2020, the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan announced the country's intention to completely stop gas exports by 2025. The plan is to process gas, increase the production of value-added products.

Earlier, "Gazeta.uz" reported discrepancies in the gas export data provided by Uzbekistan and China. Energy Minister Jurabek Mirzamakhmudov commented that China takes into account the transit of Turkmen gas. However, even with this consideration, the statistics can vary significantly.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance of Uzbekistan previously reported importing 2.6 billion cubic meters of gas into Uzbekistan for the first half of the year, which is 7.2 times more than in the first six months of 2022. This differs from the State Statistics Agency data and may partially explain the Central Bank chief's remarks about the increased budget deficit due to gas imports.

In December, Uzbekistan announced the suspension of gas supplies to China due to the shortage of this fuel in the domestic market. Deliveries resumed only in April. Following the meeting between President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the head of China, Xi Jinping, it was noted that both sides would work together to ensure the stable operation of the "China-Central Asia" gas pipeline and deliveries according to the agreed plan.

CentralasianLIGHT.org

November 29, 2023