Saudi Arabia’s trade surplus with China soars by 257% in September

Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil exporter, and China, the largest energy consumer, have broadened their relationship beyond oil-focused ties. File
Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil exporter, and China, the largest energy consumer, have broadened their relationship beyond oil-focused ties. File
Short Url
Updated 27 November 2023
Follow

Saudi Arabia’s trade surplus with China soars by 257% in September

Saudi Arabia’s trade surplus with China soars by 257% in September
  • Mineral products played a significant role, constituting an 80 percent share of total exports from the Kingdom

RIYADH: China maintained its position as Saudi Arabia’s primary trading partner in September, dominating both exports and imports, according to the latest data released by the General Authority of Statistics.

The trade surplus with China soared to SR6.67 billion ($1.78 billion), reflecting a 257 percent surge compared to August.

During this period, Saudi Arabia recorded an increase in exports to China at a growth rate of 34 percent reaching a total of SR18.99 billion. Exports comprised mainly oil, to which this increase is attributed, and non-oil products included chemical components, plastic, and rubber.

China’s share of Saudi Arabia’s exports also saw a rise from 14 percent in August to 18 percent in September.

Recently, the People’s Bank of China and the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, signed a local currency swap agreement valued at 50 billion yuan ($6.93 billion). This development, announced on Nov. 20, reflected the growing momentum in bilateral relations between the two countries.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil exporter, and China, the largest energy consumer, have broadened their relationship beyond oil-focused ties. This diversification includes collaboration in security and technology.

The recently signed three-year local currency swap agreement is a key initiative to enhance financial cooperation, increase the use of local currencies, and boost trade and investment between Riyadh and Beijing, according to a statement by China’s central bank.

Earlier in March, the state oil giant Saudi Aramco revealed two significant deals aimed at increasing its multibillion-dollar investment in China, solidifying its position as the country’s primary crude provider. These deals marked the most significant announcements since Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Saudi Arabia in December, during which he advocated for oil trade in yuan, a step that could diminish the dominance of the US dollar.

The UAE stood as the primary non-oil export destination for Saudi Arabia, with 83 percent of the country’s imports from the Kingdom being non-oil. Saudi Arabia’s main exports to the UAE included mechanical, electrical, and transport components, making up 56 percent of the total.

The Kingdom achieved a trade balance of SR43.74 billion in September, marking a 27 percent increase from the previous month and reaching the highest value in nearly five months.

While merchandise exports remained relatively stable compared to August, the rise in the trade balance during September can be attributed to a 14 percent decrease in merchandise imports that hit a five-month low at SR60.09 billion.

Non-oil exports saw a 14 percent decrease from the preceding month, totaling SR16.39 billion. Nevertheless, this decline was almost balanced by a 7 percent rise in oil shipments, comprising 80.1 percent of overall exports and reaching SR83.12 billion in September.

Mineral products played a significant role, constituting an 80 percent share of total exports from Saudi Arabia, up from 75 percent the previous month. The total value of mineral products exported increased by 6.4 percent, reaching SR83.25 billion.

Japan, South Korea, and India trail China as the primary destinations for the Kingdom’s exports.

Exports to Japan marked a 37 percent monthly increase, totaling SR11.37 billion during the same period, elevating its percentage share to 11 percent, up from 8 percent in August.

South Korea and India also experienced boosts in the percentage share of Saudi exports, amounting to SR10.25 billion and SR9.7 billion, respectively.

The UAE and the US secured the fifth and sixth positions in terms of export destinations. While exports to the UAE remained nearly unchanged at SR5.25 billion, exports to the US declined by 43 percent, totaling SR3.56 billion.

China, India, and Turkey trailed the UAE as the leading non-oil export destinations in September. Chemical products, plastic, and rubber comprised 21 percent of non-oil exports to the UAE, 91 percent to China, 89 percent to Turkey, 82 percent to India, 77 percent to Egypt, and 74 percent to the US.

Regarding Saudi Arabia’s imports, mechanical and electronic devices, along with transport vehicles, constituted 40 percent of total imports in September, amounting to SR23.8 billion.

However, this figure declined from SR28.69 billion in August. This, coupled with a 29 percent decrease in vegetable product imports, contributed to over 62 percent of the monthly decline in imports between August and September.

Imports from China amounted to SR12.33 billion in September, constituting 21 percent of Saudi Arabia’s total imports, and they mainly constituted industrial machinery and transport equipment.

The US and the UAE follow China as the top countries for Saudi imports. Imports from the US totaled SR5.23 billion, accounting for 9 percent of the total, while those from the UAE and India amounted to SR4 billion and SR3.5 billion, respectively.

Saudi Arabia primarily imports mechanical, electrical, and transport equipment from China, the US, India, Germany, and Japan. Imports of base metals and textiles also predominantly come from China and India. Additionally, the majority of the Kingdom’s imports of pearls and jewelry are sourced from the UAE and Switzerland, and mineral products from Egypt.

Of the items imported to Saudi Arabia, 46 percent are designated for intermediate consumption, 34 percent for final consumption, and 21 percent are allocated as fixed assets.

The ratio of non-oil exports to imports in Saudi Arabia stood at 34.5 percent in September, compared to 37.5 percent in August.

In September 2023, a non-oil trade surplus existed with the UAE and Kuwait, while there was a trade deficit with Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar.

The trade deficit between Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries contracted to SR388.5 million in September 2023, a significant decrease from SR1.96 billion in the same month last year. This reduction is attributed to the non-oil trade surplus with the UAE, which increased by 140 percent during this period.

Concerning future trade prospects, the Britain, Russia, India, China, and South Africa bloc of countries, known as BRICS, invited Saudi Arabia and other nations to join as full members starting January 2024 during its 15th summit in South Africa.

BRICS emphasizes its economic strength for global recovery and addressing supply chain disruptions, aiming to counter Western influence and the dominance of the US dollar. Saudi Arabia is considering the invitation, with Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan expressing appreciation and stating a thorough evaluation before potential membership by Jan. 1.


Closing Bell: TASI ends the week in green with trading turnover at $2.18bn

Closing Bell: TASI ends the week in green with trading turnover at $2.18bn
Updated 12 sec ago
Follow

Closing Bell: TASI ends the week in green with trading turnover at $2.18bn

Closing Bell: TASI ends the week in green with trading turnover at $2.18bn

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose on Thursday, gaining 36.37 points, or 0.29 percent, to close at 12,502.35.

The total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR8.19 billion ($2.18 billion) as 130 stocks advanced, while 90 retreated. 

The MSCI Tadawul Index also increased by 5.98 points, or 0.38 percent, to close at 1,575.11.

The Kingdom’s parallel market, Nomu, followed suit and gained 305.77 points, or 1.16 percent, to close at 26,418.75. This comes as 33 stocks advanced, while as many as 27 retreated.

The best-performing stock on the main index was Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co., as its share price rose by 7.69 percent to SR30.80.

Allianz Saudi Fransi Cooperative Insurance Co. also performed well as its share price saw a 6.79 percent increase to close at SR20.16.

This comes as Abu Dhabi National Insurance Co. completed a strategic acquisition of a 51 percent stake in Allianz, according to the Emirates News Agency, WAM.

ADNIC Chairman Mohamed Al- Nahyan told WAM: “The connection between the UAE and Saudi Arabia is deep, mutually beneficial and ever-growing. At ADNIC, we see Saudi Arabia as a high-potential market which perfectly aligns with our overall growth strategy, and we are looking forward to unlocking new possibilities for growth and success.”

Other top performers include United Cooperative Assurance Co. and Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corp. whose share prices soared by 5.68 percent and 5.51 percent, to stand at SR11.16 and SR14.16 respectively.

The worst performer was Alkhaleej Training and Education Co., whose share price dropped by 5.27 percent to SR33.25.

On the announcements front, Saudi mining giant and Public Investment Fund subsidiary, Saudi Arabian Mining Co., known as Ma’aden, announced the launch of single stock options in a statement on Tadawul. 

SSOs will enable local and international investors to effectively hedge and manage portfolio risks as well as diversify products available for trading in the market. 


Saudi finance minister stresses need for ‘decisive financial policies’ amid global economic uncertainties

Saudi finance minister stresses need for ‘decisive financial policies’ amid global economic uncertainties
Updated 28 min 36 sec ago
Follow

Saudi finance minister stresses need for ‘decisive financial policies’ amid global economic uncertainties

Saudi finance minister stresses need for ‘decisive financial policies’ amid global economic uncertainties

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s finance minister stressed the need for “decisive financial policies” across the world during a high-level meeting with ministers and governors, to navigate through uncertain economic conditions.

Speaking during the Spring Meetings 2024 of the International Monetary Fund held in Washington, D.C, Mohammed Al-Jadaan noted that this would bolster resilience and sustainability amid this current highly uncertain period.

“I also participated in the Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable, where I highlighted the importance of enhancing Comparability of Treatment by establishing a clear and fair framework that ensures equitable treatment among all creditors,” Al-Jadaan said in a post on X.


Magrabi opens new complex in Makkah

Magrabi opens new complex in Makkah
Updated 49 min 31 sec ago
Follow

Magrabi opens new complex in Makkah

Magrabi opens new complex in Makkah

RIYADH: With a new branch in Makkah, Magrabi Hospitals and Centers are expanding to more Saudi cities to meet the growing demand for specialized ophthalmological and dentistry care.

Minister of Health Fahad Al-Jalajel inaugurated the medical complex and one-day surgery center in the holy city, accompanied by Magrabi Hospitals and Centers CEO Mutasim Alireza, the Group’s Deputy CEO and Cheif Operating Officer Abdulrahman Barzangi, and several officials and dignitaries.

Al-Jalajel underscored that the opening reflects the Kingdom’s commitment to enhancing the quality of its healthcare services and transitioning toward a more comprehensive and integrated healthcare system.


UAE records 64% surge in trademark registrations

UAE records 64% surge in trademark registrations
Updated 55 min 52 sec ago
Follow

UAE records 64% surge in trademark registrations

UAE records 64% surge in trademark registrations

RIYADH: The UAE recorded an annual 64 percent surge in trademark registrations, amounting to 4,610 in the first quarter of 2024, official data showed.

The figures, released by the nation’s Ministry of Economy, reveal the notable increase from 2,813 signups in the same period of 2023. 

March emerged as a particularly prolific period, with 2,018 new brands reported.

The trademarks registered during this time span a wide range of key sectors, including smart technology, transportation, food and beverage and pharmaceuticals as well as medical devices, finance, real estate, and more. 

The preceding months of January and February collectively accounted for 2,592 trademarks, further highlighting sustained growth and momentum in registrations.

As the country continues to position itself as a global business hub, trademark registrations serve as a crucial indicator of economic vitality and innovation-driven growth.

In a release on X, the ministry noted on April 17 that it has: “Worked on developing the trademark registration service, using the latest technologies and innovative solutions to achieve higher efficiency and better interaction with clients.”

The UAE’s adherence to international treaties and agreements further strengthens its trademark registration regime. 

By adhering to agreements like the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights or TRIPS, the UAE facilitates international trademark registration and enforcement, empowering businesses to broaden their operations across borders.

The nation has further established mechanisms for enforcing trademark rights and combating infringement. 

These include civil remedies, such as damages, injunctions, and seizure of infringing goods, as well as criminal penalties for trademark counterfeiting and piracy.


Saudi EXIM Bank inks deal with Swiss counterpart to elevate trade exchange 

Saudi EXIM Bank inks deal with Swiss counterpart to elevate trade exchange 
Updated 18 April 2024
Follow

Saudi EXIM Bank inks deal with Swiss counterpart to elevate trade exchange 

Saudi EXIM Bank inks deal with Swiss counterpart to elevate trade exchange 

RIYADH: Saudi EXIM Bank and its Swiss counterpart have signed an agreement to boost the Kingdom’s non-oil exports, enhancing their global market competitiveness. 

In an X post following the deal, the Saudi lender stated that the reinsurance agreement with the Swiss Export Credit Agency was signed in Zurich. 

This development follows Saudi EXIM’s signing of reinsurance treaties with a consortium of global reinsurers led by Swiss Re in Zurich. These agreements will expand global insurance operations in collaboration with the world’s largest reinsurers and provide insurance coverage to support the growth of Saudi exporters in global markets. 

The trade relationship between Saudi Arabia and Switzerland has been robust, with exports from the Kingdom to the European nation totaling $810.67 million in 2023, according to the UN’s database on international trade.  

The Kingdom’s primary exports to Switzerland included pearls, precious metals, and aluminum, valued at $587.57 million and $139.39 million, respectively.  

On the other hand, Swiss exports to Saudi Arabia amounted to $6.77 billion in 2023. 

In October 2023, Saad Al-Khalb, CEO of EXIM Bank, told Arab News that the main mandate of the financial institution is to support the Kingdom’s economy and flow of goods, trades, infrastructure and long-term projects. 

In January, the Saudi lender also signed an agreement with its US counterpart to boost cooperation and help strengthen economic and trade relations between the two countries.  

The total value of credit facilities implemented by the EXIM Bank in 2023 reached $4.39 billion, exceeding its annual target by 33 percent, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

This figure represents 5.2 percent of the total financial arrangements for the Kingdom’s non-oil outbound trade.