Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports surge by 4.4 percent to $5.82 billion in February

Rubber and plastic product exports in February fueled the rise in non-oil shipments
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports surge by 4.4 percent to $5.82 billion in February
Saudi Arabia's imports rose by 12.3 percent in February 2024

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.

The General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) reported that the total value of this sector reached SAR21.86 billion ($5.83 billion), showing an increase from SAR20.93 billion ($5.58 billion) in the previous year.

The rise in non-oil shipments was primarily driven by an 8.3 percent increase in the exports of rubber and plastic products in February, which accounted for 24.1 percent of the total exports. It is crucial for Saudi Arabia to strengthen the non-oil private sector as the country continues its efforts to diversify its economy and reduce its dependency on oil.

Read more: Saudi Arabia’s air transport sector sees 26 percent passenger growth, exceeding 112 million in 2023

Surge in re-exported goods

The report also revealed a 4.1 percent year-on-year decrease in the Kingdom’s non-oil exports, excluding re-exports, in February. However, there was a significant surge of 32.3 percent in the value of re-exported goods during the same period. Additionally, overall merchandise shipments in Saudi Arabia decreased by 2 percent in February compared to the previous year. This decline was primarily attributed to a 3.8 percent decrease in oil exports, as the country reduced crude output in line with OPEC+’s agreement. The percentage of oil shipments as part of total exports also decreased from 78.4 percent to 77 percent in February compared to the same period in the previous year. The reduction in oil exports was a result of Saudi Arabia’s decision to extend its oil output reduction until the end of December 2024.

In terms of overall merchandise exports, there was a marginal increase of 0.1 percent to SAR95.02 billion compared to January 2024. Saudi Arabia’s imports, on the other hand, experienced a year-on-year rise of 12.3 percent in February. However, the merchandise trade balance surplus decreased by 21.8 percent compared to the previous year.

China emerges as Saudi Arabia’s primary trading partner

China emerged as Saudi Arabia’s primary trading partner in February, with exports to the Asian country amounting to SAR12.57 billion. India and Japan followed closely, with exports of SAR9.43 billion and SAR8.55 billion, respectively. Other notable destinations for Saudi exports included South Korea, the UAE, Poland, Egypt, the US, and France. China also held the top spot for imports, accounting for 19.9 percent (SAR12.58 billion) of the total exchanges in February. The report highlighted King Abdulaziz Sea Port in Dammam as the main entry point for goods into Saudi Arabia, representing 26.7 percent of the overall exports.

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