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Coronavirus negatively impacts Kazakhstan’s economy

EPA PHOTO/ANATOLY USTINENKO/FILE PICTURE
A worker passes by a section of the pipeline in Atyrau in Kazakhstan.

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NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan in February received less than 2.1 billion tenge ($5.49 million) of customs duties and taxes from importing goods from China, Kazakhstan’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alikhan Smailov told a government meeting on 10 March.
According to Smailov, one of the reasons is the outbreak of coronavirus in China.
“In February of this year, compared with February 2019, imports from China decreased by 11%, and its physical volume decreased by 27%. As a result, customs duties and taxes from importing goods from China decreased by 12%, or by 2.1 billion tenge,” he said.
A decrease in the number of motor vehicles arriving from China by 24% and railway transport by 14% has been observed over the past two months, he said. In addition, a 20% decrease in the number of vehicles importing goods from the EAEU countries was recorded in February.
Another revenue loss factor Kazakhstan’s budget was a decline in prices in foreign markets, Smailov said, adding that copper fell by 6%, aluminum by 5%, zinc by 10% and lead by 3%.
Kazakhstan, which is oil production country with about 90 million tonnes in 2019, also received less revenues because of declining oil prices due to coronavirus and problems with oil export from Kazakhstan to China, which was actually stopped due to contamination of the pipeline with organochlorine.
This also caused problems on other export routes. According to Reuters, Kazakhstan reduced the March plan for exporting crude oil from the Russian port of Ust-Luga in the Baltic from 800,000 tonnes to 600,000. In February, Kazakh producers exported only 500,000 tonnes through Ust-Luga. The reason is that the Chinese company CNPC-Aktobemunaigas, in the oil of which an excess of organochlorine compounds was detected, still has not restored the pre-crisis production level. For the same reason, part of the export volumes of Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry was redistributed for processing at domestic refineries. The common border of Kazakhstan with China is 1,460 kilometres.

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