RIYADH: Amid global economic headwinds, Saudi Arabia showcased resilience in its trade performance, as the Kingdom’s overall merchandise exports were steady in July hitting SR91.3 billion ($24.34 billion), down just 0.4 percent compared to June, official data showed.
According to the report released by the General Authority for Statistics, Saudi Arabia’s overall merchandise exports dipped by 34.9 percent in July compared to the same month of 2022.
This fall in merchandise exports was driven by a decrease in oil exports as Saudi Arabia, along with its peers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, decided to reduce output to maintain market stability.
The Kingdom’s oil exports fell by 37.9 percent in July to SR70 billion, compared to the same period of the previous year, the GASTAT report noted.
As a result, the share of oil in total exports decreased from 80.6 percent in July 2022 to 76.8 percent during the same month this year.
In April, OPEC+ had decided to reduce oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day. In those recommended cuts, Saudi Arabia pledged to reduce its output by 500,000 bpd.
Later in June, the Kingdom implemented an additional 1 million bpd cut in June, a decision which was later extended until December 2023.
The GASTAT report further noted that the country’s non-oil exports including re-exports decreased by 22.1 percent year on year in July to SR21.1 billion, while it increased by 7 percent compared to the previous month.
Among Saudi Arabia’s most important export items, products of chemical and allied industries comprised 29.9 percent of the total non-oil exports.
China emerged as the Kingdom’s primary merchandise trading partner in July, with exports to the world’s second-largest economy amounting to SR15.7 billion, or 17.2 percent of the total exports.
Japan and South Korea followed closely, with SR10.1 billion and SR9.6 billion in total exports, respectively.
On the import side, China also held the lead, with Saudi Arabia importing goods worth SR13.9 billion in July.
The US and the UAE followed with imports valued at SR6 billion and SR4.3 billion, respectively.
Jeddah Islamic Port was ranked the highest entry point for goods into the country in July, with a value of SR20.6 billion, constituting 29.8 percent of the overall imports.
Source: Arab News