Kingdom's nonoil exports reach SR17.4 billion

Updated 08 February 2015
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Kingdom's nonoil exports reach SR17.4 billion

Saudi Arabia's trade activity showed a slight rebound in November from its lowest point in October although still below last year’s figures. Softer global demand is affecting the Kingdom’s export markets, particularly China and Singapore, while the Kingdom’s continued expenditure on mega projects expected in 2015 led to a lesser impact on imported goods, particularly in machinery and electrical equipment, according the National Commercial Bank latest Saudi Economic Review.
In value terms, nonoil exports totaled SR17.4 billion, falling short of last year by 0.3 percent, whereas by weight, nonoil exports reached 3.8 megatons, a 10.2 percent downturn.
On the other hand, the import bill in November amounted to SR50.8 billion, rising over last year by 4.6 percent. By weight, however, imports recorded 5 megatons, dwindling by 26.6 percent Y/Y, the report said.
The weakening of the euro and other major currencies against the US dollar resulted in a lower cost of importing foodstuff and base metals despite the relative rebound in commodities that took place since late September.
"By measuring the returns of nonoil exports to the cost of imports, we notice that the nonoil balance of trade gap has widened by 7.3 percent in November compared to the same period in 2013," the NCB said in its report.
Nonoil export composition remains led by plastics and chemical products which weight respectively 32 percent and 28.4 percent of the monthly total value. The high inelasticity toward the Kingdom’s production of plastics kept annualized growth figures positive, albeit by a small margin of 0.1 percent Y/Y. In contrast, exports of chemical products were impacted by the compounded effect of cheaper oil and weaker global demand, sliding by 13.5 percent Y/Y.
Exports of base metals surged by 35.5 percent on the back of edging up aluminum prices. Indonesia’s export ban on bauxite, the ore used in the production of aluminum, resulted in a negative supply shock, leading to a bid up in aluminum prices. In addition, Ras Al-Khair, the first Saudi aluminum smelter and the world’s largest, has entered the production phase, with a capacity output of 1.8 megatons of smelter-grade alumina per year.
The Kingdom’s key nonoil export markets remain the UAE, China and Singapore, with sizable declines from the latter two countries. While the UAE posted a 3.1 percent Y/Y increase in nonoil exports to SR2.7 billion, China’s imports of the Kingdom’s nonoil exports tumbled by 22.2 percent to SR2.5 billion. More so, Singapore slashed its imports of Saudi nonoil exports by 24.3 percent Y/Y.
On the import front, imports of machinery and electrical equipment, which account for around 28.5 percent of the import bill surged by 17.8 percent Y/Y to SR14.5 billion. Imports of transport equipment also marked a notable increase of 15.6 percent as they were valued at SR10 billion.
Conversely, the Kingdom’s imports of base metals were trimmed by 12.3 percent from last year, down to SR5 billion. Although soft commodities appeared to have bottomed up in September and started to climb back up, the Kingdom’s imports of food stuff fell by 24.3 percent in value terms on the back of stronger purchasing power. The main trading partners by origin of imports are China, the US, and Germany. Imports from China account for about 15.7 percent of the import bill which substantially rose by 43.4 percent to SR8 billion. On the other hand, imports from the US ticked down by 2.9 percent to SR6.8 billion, whereas German imports dwindled by 18.3 percent to SR3.2 billion.


Huawei warns US patent curbs would hurt global tech

Updated 27 June 2019
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Huawei warns US patent curbs would hurt global tech

  • US senator’s proposal comes amid mounting American action against Huawei
  • Huawei’s US sales of network gear evaporated after a congressional panel labeled the company a security threat in 2012

SHENZHEN, China: Chinese tech giant Huawei warned Thursday a US senator’s proposal to block the company from pursuing damages in patent courts would be a “catastrophe for global innovation.”
The proposal comes amid mounting US action against Huawei, the biggest maker of switching gear for phone carriers, amid tension over Beijing’s technology ambitions. The company has been devastated by the Trump administration’s decision to impose restrictions on its access to American chips for smartphones and other components and technology.
Disrupting Huawei’s access to US patent courts would threaten the intellectual property system that supports technology development, said Song Liping, the company’s chief legal officer.
The proposal by Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, followed reports Huawei Technologies Ltd. is asking for $1 billion from American phone carrier Verizon for use of the Chinese company’s patents.
“If such a legislative proposal were to be passed, it would be a catastrophe for global innovation. It would have terrible consequences,” Song said at a news conference. He said it would “break the foundation of IP protection.”
American officials accuse Huawei of facilitating Chinese spying, a charge the company denies, and see it as a growing competitive threat to US technology industries.
Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, said this month it has cut its project sales by $30 billion over the next two years due to curbs on access to American chips and other components. He said smartphone sales outside China will fall 40 percent.
Huawei’s US sales of network gear evaporated after a congressional panel labeled the company a security threat in 2012 and told phone carriers to avoid it. But the Chinese company has a patent portfolio it licenses to manufacturers and carriers.
Song gave no confirmation of how much Huawei wants from Verizon or the basis of its claims.
“Intellectual property litigations are matters that should be heard and ruled on by courts. They should not be politicized,” he said.
Huawei, founded in 1986, has China’s biggest corporate research and development budget at $15 billion in 2018. The company is a leader in developing next-generation telecoms technology.
On Wednesday, a US federal court jury in Texas ruled Huawei stole trade secrets from a Silicon Valley company but awarded no damages, saying the Chinese company didn’t benefit.
The jury rejected Huawei’s claims that Cnex Labs Inc. co-founder Yiren Huang stole its technology while he worked at a Huawei subsidiary.
Huawei’s head of intellectual property, Jason Ding, said the company was studying the verdict and deciding what to do next.
Asked about a report by Bloomberg News that some Huawei researchers had published papers with Chinese military personnel over the past decade, Song said the company wasn’t aware of its employees publishing research as private individuals.
“We don’t customize products or do research for the military,” said Song. “We are not aware of employees publishing papers. We don’t have projects of that kind.”