RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s trade balance, representing the difference between the nation’s merchandise exports and imports, reached SR113 billion ($30.12 billion) in the second quarter of 2023, as per recently released government data.
According to the General Authority for Statistics report, Saudi Arabia exhibited resilience in its trade performance, as the Kingdom’s overall merchandise exports reached SR291.6 billion in the second quarter of this year, adapting to a 31.8 percent adjustment from SR427.8 billion in the same period of the previous year.
The report highlighted that the decline in overall exports was predominantly driven by a 33.4 percent drop in oil exports during the second quarter, amounting to SR227.7 billion, compared to SR341.6 billion during the same period of the previous year.
This fall in oil exports was influenced by the decision of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, to reduce output to stabilize oil market fundamentals.
In April, OPEC+ decided to reduce global oil production, with Saudi Arabia voluntarily trimming output by 500,000 barrels per day.
Building on this commitment, Saudi Arabia implemented an additional 1 million bpd cut in June, a practice extended throughout July, August and September.
The GASTAT report added that Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports, including re-exports, dipped 25.9 percent in the second quarter to SR63.9 billion from SR86.2 billion in the same period of 2022.
On the other hand, non-oil exports, excluding re-exports, decreased by 30.8 percent annually in the second quarter of 2023.
The report added that the Kingdom’s merchandise imports increased 2 percent or SR3.5 billion to SR178.9 billion in the second quarter, compared to SR175.4 billion in the same period of the previous year.
The GASTAT report highlighted that chemical and allied products were the most important non-oil export goods in the second quarter of this year, constituting 29.6 percent of total non-oil exports.
In the second quarter of this year, China was Saudi Arabia’s primary merchandise trading partner, with exports to the Asian nation amounting to SR48.8 billion or 16.7 percent of the total.
Japan and India followed closely with SR26.9 billion and SR26.8 billion of the total exports, respectively.
South Korea, the US, the UAE, Bahrain, Singapore, Taiwan, and Egypt were the other countries that ranked in the top 10 destinations for Saudi Arabia’s exports.
On the import side, China held the lead, accounting for 20.9 percent or SR37.4 billion in imports in the second quarter of 2023. China was followed by the US and the UAE, with imports valued at SR15.1 billion and SR10.6 billion, respectively.
According to the report, the Jeddah Islamic Port ranked as the highest entry point for goods into the Kingdom in the second quarter, with a value of SR49.1 billion, constituting 27.4 percent of the overall imports.
Source: Arab News