Non-oil exports climb 34% as trade with GCC nations soars

Muscat - 

Oman’s non-oil exports grew 34 per cent in 2018 as the sultanate’s trade with neighbouring GCC countries, particularly with Qatar, recorded a sharp rise amid gradual improvements in the region’s macroeconomic conditions.

Total value of Oman’s non-oil exports hit RO3.864bn during January–November period of 2018 compared to RO2.884bn in the same period of the previous year, figures released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) showed.

GCC countries have again shown their dominance as Oman’s most valuable market for non-oil exports, with new figures showing exports to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar grew sharply during last year.

Oman’s trade figures showed that non-oil exports to the UAE, which continued to remain Oman’s biggest non-oil trading partner, rose more than 12 per cent to RO720mn in 2018 from RO642mn in the previous year. Exports to Saudi Arabia rose nearly 11 per cent to RO493mn from RO445mn in the same period a year ago. The sultanate’s exports to Qatar surged 86 per cent to RO349mn last year compared to RO188mn in 2017.

Oman last year also managed to achieve substantial growths in its non-oil shipments to India and China. While non-oil exports to India recorded a remarkable 32 per cent growth to RO374mn, the sultanate’s non-oil exports to China rose 11.3 per cent to RO249mn from RO224mn a year earlier.

However, the total value of re-exports from Oman decreased 9.8 per cent to RO1.671bn during the first 11 months of 2018 from RO1.852bn in the same period of 2017. Despite a decline in overall figures, re-exports to Qatar grew 12.5 per cent to RO320mn last year.

Oman’s total merchandise imports increased 2 per cent to RO9.407bn during January–November period of 2018 against RO9.220bn in the same period of the previous year. Imports from Qatar surged 246 per cent to RO311mn last year compared to RO90mn in the previous year. Value of imports from the UAE increased 6.3 per cent to RO4.162bn from RO3.917bn in the previous year.

While Oman’s imports from China and India declined by 4.7 per cent and 10.1 per cent last year, respectively, imports from the US jumped 82.4 per cent to RO674mn from RO370mn in 2017.

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