As of March 1, 2024, Uzbekistan’s official reserve assets stood at $32.19 billion, reflecting a decrease of $2.37 billion in January-February, according to Central Bank data.

Previously, reported a delay in the publication of data of January foreign exchange reserves by the Central Bank. The information is now presented for both months.

Reserves in foreign currency decreased by $1.44 billion in January and by another $381.5 million in February, according to the regulator’s data, totaling a $1.82 billion decrease to $7.55 billion. This represents the lowest level since September 2023 when the figure fell to a record $7.39 billion since 2013.

The physical volume of gold first increased by 0.3 million troy ounces (9.3 tons) and then decreased by the same amount. As a result, 11.9 million troy ounces of the precious metal (370.1 tons) remained in the reserves, but the value of the gold reserve decreased by $535.4 million.

In January, gold quotes fell from $2,076 to $2,066, and to $2,059 at the end of February. However, in March, the price of gold set several historical records and is already approaching the mark of $2,200 per ounce.

The Central Bank of Uzbekistan attributes the decline in international reserves to a “seasonal nature”, which “usually represents a trend observed in January-February”. However, considering the previous years' data, the reserves showed insignificant fluctuations in the first two months of 2022−2023. Such dynamics, according to the regulator, were also affected by Uzbekistan’s redemption of part of the sovereign Eurobonds issued in 2019. In particular, on February 20, Uzbekistan was to redeem Eurobonds for $500 million.

Recalling the end of 2023, the country’s “financial cushion” decreased by $1.2 billion to $34.56 billion, marking the first year-end decline since 2018. The physical volume of gold decreased by almost 25 tons over the year.