Uzbekistan’s official reserve assets fell to $34.37 billion as of June 1, 2023, according to data from the Central Bank. This is a decrease of $837.9 million from the previous month and the second consecutive monthly decline.
The main reason for the drop was the reduction in the value of the gold stock, which went down by $980.6 million to $23.2 billion. The Central Bank also reported a decrease in the physical volume of gold by 0.3 million troy ounces (9.3 tons) to 11.9 million troy ounces (about 370.1 tons). This suggests that Uzbekistan exported gold in May.
However, the possible sale of gold did not lead to a proportional increase in foreign currency reserves, which also decreased by $158.2 million to $9.93 billion. Since the beginning of the year, foreign exchange reserves have fallen by $1.55 billion.
The decline in gold reserves occurred despite a slight increase in gold prices in May, from $2034 to $1987.3 per ounce.
The available reserves still exceed the country’s imports for 2022, which amounted to $30.67 billion. International organizations recommend that developing countries have reserves that cover at least three months of imports.