According to China’s General Administration of Customs, Uzbekistan increased its natural gas exports to China in value terms in May.
The agency reported that Uzbekistan resumed exporting “blue fuel” in April, with exports totaling $40.47 million. In May, the volume of supplies increased to $78.16 million, bringing the total for the two months to $118.6 million. This is 2.5 times less than the figure for the same period last year, which was $301.9 million, due to the suspension of gas exports in January-March amid an energy crisis in Uzbekistan.
The Statistical Agency under the President of Uzbekistan reported that total gas exports in May amounted to $83.6 million, compared to $201.5 million at the beginning of the year. However, the agency did not specify the countries to which gas was delivered or the physical volume of supplies.
During the first five months of the year, gas production in Uzbekistan fell by 9.8% compared to the same period last year, with production falling for the second consecutive month in May (11.2%).
In 2022, the Uzbek side reported gas exports worth $910.9 million, while China reported Uzbek gas imports of $1.07 billion, $159.5 million or 18.2% more than Uzbekistan’s figures. Energy Minister Jurabek Mirzamakhmudov commented that China also takes Turkmen gas transit into account. According to Gazeta.uz calculations, even taking this into account, the statistics may diverge greatly.
In mid-May, the President signed a decree introducing a unified automated gas-movement system in Uzbekistan and ordered the installation of electronic meters at all gas intake and delivery points by July 1. In addition, a system will be created to collect information on gas and oil contracts. However, the new requirements to install meters do not apply to foreign companies, which own more than half of all oil and gas fields.