RIYADH: China emerged as the top global export destination for Saudi Arabia in January 2023 accounting for 14.8 percent of total Saudi exports valued at SR15.6 billion ($4.15 billion).
It was followed by Japan with exports valued at SR11.7 billion – 11.2 percent of the total, and India SR10.8 billion, which was responsible for 10.2 percent, data released by the General Authority for Statistics showed on Monday.
As for the Kingdom’s imports, China also took the lead, accounting for 22.2 percent of the total, worth SR14.8 billion.
The US followed with SR6.5 billion, or 9.8 percent of the total. India came in third with SR4.7 billion, or 7.1 percent of the total imports, showed the report.
The Jeddah Islamic Sea Port let through 30.8 percent of the total imports worth SR20.5 billion, making it the Kingdom’s primary port for incoming goods.
The Kingdom’s non-oil exports, including re-exports, decreased by 6.7 percent to SR23 billion in January 2023 compared to the SR24.6 billion recorded during the same period a year earlier.
In its report, GASTAT noted that the Kingdom’s non-oil exports were pulled down by a 6.4 percent drop in chemical and allied industries, accounting for 30.6 percent of non-oil merchandise exports in January.
The report further pointed out that overall merchandise exports fell by 2.8 percent in January to SR105.1 billion, down from SR108 billion the year prior. This was driven by a 1.7 percent drop in the Kingdom’s oil exports to reach SR82.1 billion in January.
The Kingdom’s merchandise imports increased by 26.9 percent in January to SR66.6 billion compared to SR52.5 billion in the same period last year.
The report added that the most imported merchandise in January was machinery, mechanical appliances, and electrical equipment parts, which accounted for 22.2 percent of the total merchandise imports.
As imports rose by 26.9 percent and non-oil exports fell 6.7 percent year-on-year, the ratio of non-oil exports to imports dropped by 12.5 percent in that period to reach 34.5 percent.