Thinking Outside the Barrel

Thinking Outside the Barrel

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  • Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports, including re-exports, increased by 4.4% to SR24.9 billion ($6.62 billion) in October 2022, compared to SR23.9 billion recorded in October 2021, according to the latest report released by the General Authority for Statistics. In its report, GASTAT noted that the Kingdom’s non-oil exports were driven by chemical and allied industries, accounting for 40.9% of non-oil merchandise exports in October. 

  • Compared to September 2022, total exports fell 3.6% or SAR4.5 billion. Saudi Arabia's exports growth has been falling month on month from a peak rise of nearly 99% in April 2022. Meanwhile, total imports increased by 39% in October to SAR63.9 billion compared to SAR 46.6 billion in the same period last year, giving the country a positive trade balance of SAR57 billion. Total imports have been rising since July.  

  • China, the Kingdom’s primary merchandise trading partner, accounted for 18.4% of total exports in October with a value of SR22.2 billion. The report added that South Korea and Japan came in next with both at 10.3% of Saudi Arabia’s total exports. Their exports totaled 12.4 billion in October 2022. As for Saudi imports, China also took the lead with its imports amounting to 20.6% of the total during that period reaching SR13.2 billion.

Why it matters

Aside from strong domestic conditions, new export businesses also saw the fastest increase since November 2015. "The Saudi economy is continuing its expansion in the non-oil sector in November, business conditions have improved across the board in light of rising demand," said Naif Al-Ghaith, chief economist at Riyad Bank.


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