The General Authority for Statistics has reported that non-oil exports from Saudi Arabia plummeted by more than 24% YoY to SAR22.7 billion riyals ($6.05 billion) in December 2022. The decline in non-oil exports can be attributed to a drop in chemical and allied industries, which make up 36% of non-oil merchandise exports. However, the total exports for the month increased by 1.1% YoY to SAR108.2 billion. This increase was due to a boost in oil exports by 11%, or SAR8.5 billion.
The country's total merchandise exports declined by SAR4.6 billion or 4.%, compared to November 2022. Meanwhile, the total merchandise imports surged by 17% to SAR62.2 billion in December compared to SAR53.2 billion in the same period last year. Saudi Arabia maintained a positive trade balance of SAR46 billion.
Why it matters
Decline in non-oil exports from Saudi Arabia was offset by an increase in oil exports, boosting total exports. However, a rise in total imports offset some gains, leading to a lower trade balance. Despite pandemic challenges, growth in crude exports suggests Saudi Arabia's oil industry is still performing well.