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UAE imports rise in August, hinting at demand pick-up

Imports up 9.8 pct y/y in August vs -0.9 pct in July.


November 15, 2010 9:49 by

Imports to the United Arab Emirates increased in August, pointing to stronger domestic demand, while non-oil export growth increased to key markets such as India, data showed on Sunday.

The OPEC member’s imports rose 9.8 percent year-on-year to 40.9 billion dirhams ($11 billion) in August, a sharp rise after a 0.9 percent slump in the previous month, preliminary data from the UAE Federal Customs Authority (FCA) showed.

Exports without crude soared 91.7 percent to 9.1 billion dirhams, after a 23.7 percent increase in July, while growth in re-exports accelerated to 21.5 percent.

“Demand is picking up very gradually. The UAE have structural constraints which mean that the recovery in domestic demand will be weaker than in other GCC countries,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at EFG Hermes in Dubai.

India, China and the United States topped the list of exporting countries to the UAE, while in the field of non-oil exports, Norway, India and Switzerland were the main importing countries from the UAE. India, Iran and Iraq ranked as the highest re-exporting countries.

In a Reuters poll in Sept, analysts raised their forecasts for UAE economic growth this year to 2.4 percent after state-owned Dubai World sealed a $24.9 billion deal, easing concerns about Dubai’s debt woes.

The Customs Authority did not release figures for oil exports.

The UAE booked a trade surplus of $16 billion last year with exports and imports down 15.8 percent and 11.9 percent respectively from 2008 as the global crisis hit the second-largest Arab economy. The country expects the trade surplus for 2010 to be 15 percent higher.

(Reporting by Martina Fuchs; Editing by Reed Stevenson)


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