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Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports surge by 4.4%: GASTAT

 Saudi Arabia witnessed a 4.4 percent surge in its non-oil exports, including re-exports, in February compared to the same period in 2023, as per official data. The General Authority for Statistics reported that the total value of this sector reached SR21.86 billion ($5.83 billion), up from SR20.93 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year.

This increase in non-oil shipments was primarily driven by an 8.3 percent surge in the exports of rubber and plastic products in February, constituting 24.1 percent of the total exports. Strengthening the non-oil private sector remains crucial for Saudi Arabia as it continues its economic diversification efforts aimed at reducing reliance on oil.

However, there was a 4.1 percent year-on-year decrease in the Kingdom’s non-oil exports, excluding re-exports, in February. Conversely, the value of re-exported goods surged by 32.3 percent during the same period. Despite this, Saudi Arabia's overall merchandise shipments decreased by 2 percent in February compared to the previous year, primarily due to a 3.8 percent decrease in oil exports.

The decline in oil exports was attributed to the Kingdom’s decision to reduce crude output in line with an agreement by OPEC+ to stabilize oil markets. Saudi Arabia reduced oil output by 500,000 barrels per day in April 2023, a decision that has been extended until the end of December 2024 by the Energy Ministry.

Compared to January 2024, the value of overall merchandise exports saw a marginal rise of 0.1 percent to SR95.02 billion. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s imports rose by 12.3 percent year-on-year in February, leading to a decrease of 21.8 percent in the merchandise trade balance surplus compared to the previous year.

In February, China emerged as Saudi Arabia’s primary trading partner, with exports to the Asian country amounting to SR12.57 billion. India and Japan followed, with SR9.43 billion and SR8.55 billion in exports, respectively. Additionally, South Korea, the UAE, and Poland were among the top destinations for Saudi exports, along with Egypt, the US, and France.

China also held the top spot on the import side, accounting for 19.9 percent – or SR12.58 billion – of exchanges in February. The King Abdulaziz Sea Port in Dammam was ranked the highest entry point for goods into Saudi Arabia, constituting 26.7 percent of the overall exports, according to the report.

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