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Saudi non-oil exports rise to SR10bn
Saudi Arabia's non-oil exports in February 2010 rose by 30 percent to SR10.05 billion, figures reveal.
May 24, 2010 3:54 by Samuel Potter
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports in February 2010 rose by 30 percent to SR10.05 billion against SR7.7 billion during the same month last year. Volume exports during the same month reached 3.52 million tons against 3.26 million tons, said a report issued by the General Statistics Department on Sunday.
It said the Kingdom’s petroleum exports in February 2010 amounted to SR10.05 billion compared to SR7.7 billion during the same period in the previous year. Plastic products top the list of Saudi exports accounting for 32 percent of total exports and valued at SR3.19 billion, followed by petrochemicals (27 percent) worth SR2.75 billion, and re-exports (14 percent) valued at SR1.45 billion.
Non-Arab and non-Muslim Asian countries were the main recipients of Saudi products as they took 29 percent of Saudi exports with a total value of SR2.93 billion. GCC countries came second receiving 27 percent of exports worth SR2.74 billion.
Arab countries held third position receiving Saudi products worth SR1.91 billion, the report said. EU countries received Saudi goods worth SR1.04 billion (10 percent) during the same month while non-Arab Muslim countries received goods worth SR754 million or eight percent of total exports.
The United Arab Emirates topped the list of countries that imported goods from Saudi Arabia in February, receiving goods worth SR1.17 billion or 12 percent, followed by China (nine percent), Singapore (seven percent) and Qatar (six percent).
According to the department, the Kingdom’s imports during February 2010 fell by six percent to SR24.59 billion compared to SR26 billion during the same month last year. Machinery and equipment were the Kingdom’s main imports during the reporting month, accounting for 26 percent and valued at SR6.32 billion.
Equipment used for transporting materials came second (18 percent) with a value of SR4.5 billion, followed by foodstuffs (SR3.64 billion), petrochemicals and plastics (SR3.27 billion), ordinary metals and metallic products (SR3.09 billion and medicine (SR839 million).
Non-Arab and non-Muslim Asian countries were the main exporters to the Kingdom as they sent goods worth SR8.1 billion or 33 percent, followed by European countries SR7.12 billion, North America SR3.42 billion and non-Arab Muslim countries SR1.47 billion. GCC countries exported goods worth SR1.46 billion to the Kingdom.
The United States was the largest exporter to the Kingdom in February 2010 with a total value of SR3.14 billion or 13 percent of the total, followed by China (SR2.86 billion), Japan (SR1.94 billion), Germany (SR1.82 billion) and India (SR1.09 billion).
Meanwhile, Saudi banks raised their investment in securities to support a cash-hungry private sector in April, according to a fresh set of official data that also showed a continued decline in money supply.
M3 growth, one factor that can influence inflation, slowed for a seventh straight month in April to 2.6 percent – the lowest in at least 7 years – against 4.6 percent in March as customers cut rewarded deposits faster than in the previous month, central bank data showed on Sunday.
Time and savings deposits – M3’s second biggest component – fell by almost SR41 billion or an annual 11.7 percent against a 10 percent drop in March. Demand deposits – M3’s biggest component – meanwhile added SR71.5 billion or 18.5 percent in the 12 months to April.
Bank claims on the private sector added just SR23.2 billion – or 3.2 percent – in the 12 months to April to a total of SR750.6 billion, which is the highest since the SR748.8 billion of November, 2009, the previous record.
A breakdown of these claims, however, shows that much of their growth came from investment in private securities which grew 41.4 percent – or by SR8.8 billion – to a record SR29.9 billion in the 12 months to end-April.
John Sfakianakis, chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi, said private securities investment included Musharakah, an Islamic financing under which a bank provides capital to a joint-venture and gets a share of profit.