In the first quarter of 2023, Uzbekistan experienced a significant rise in imports of gas, coal, crude, and oil products, as reported by data from the Statistics Agency under the President.

During the first quarter, Uzbekistan imported $152.9 million worth of gas, with the majority of it, $151.2 million, being imported in March. In monetary terms, this represents a 2.6-fold increase compared to the same period in 2022 and accounts for over half of the total gas imports for the entire previous year ($281.9 million).

During the first quarter, Uzbekistan’s gas exports reached $3.7 million in January, $3.7 million in February, and $20.4 million in March. Interestingly, Chinese customs data reveals that no gas was exported from Uzbekistan to China during this period. It is probable that the fuel was supplied to neighboring countries, such as Kyrgyzstan.

In January-March, Uzbekistan imported $45.2 million worth of coal ($13.2 million in January, $16 million in February and $16 million in March), which is 61.7% more than in the first quarter of last year.

Crude oil and oil products imports to Uzbekistan increased by 43.3%, reaching $510 million in the first quarter. The monthly breakdown includes $135.1 million in January, $152.5 million in February, and $222.4 million in March.

In January, the Statistics Agency did not publish data on electricity imports and exports. In February and March, Uzbekistan imported $34.4 million worth of electricity and exported $18.9 million worth.

Uzbekistan’s expenditure on the import of specified energy resources reached $742.5 million in the first quarter, nearly doubling the amount spent in the same period the previous year.

Amid declining domestic production, Uzbekistan has experienced a surge in imports of gas, electricity, and coal. As previously reported, the country’s gas production in the first quarter witnessed a 9.6% year-on-year drop, with a 12.9% decrease in March alone. Electricity production also declined by 5% over the three-month period, while heat and coal production experienced reductions as well.