Saudi achieves largest monthly trade balance surplus in 6 years

Non-oil exports increased by 27% to $7.4 billion
Saudi achieves largest monthly trade balance surplus in 6 years
Saudi exports

Saudi’s trade balance reached 90.3 billion riyals in May, the highest monthly level in at least six years.

According to figures released by the General Authority for Statistics (GaSTAT), merchandise exports increased by 83.4 percent in May, driven by increases in oil exports and chemical industries.

Last month’s merchandise exports totaled 144.1 billion riyals, thanks to a 105.5 percent increase in oil exports, or 59.7 billion riyals.

Oil exports increased their share of total exports from 72 percent in May 2021 to 80.6 percent in May 2022.

Saudi non-oil exports, including re-exports, increased by 26.7 percent in May to 27.9 billion riyals ($7.42 billion), up from 22 billion riyals in the same month last year.

Chemical and allied industry products drove non-oil export growth, accounting for 35.3 percent of total non-oil merchandise exports, followed by plastic and rubber products. Chemical industry exports increased 41.4 percent to 2.9 billion riyals.

Imports increased by 21.8 percent on a monthly basis in May 2022 to reach 53.9 billion riyals but decreased by 4 percent year on year.

This contributed to Saudi’s trade surplus, as the ratio of non-oil exports to imports increased from 49.8 percent in May 2021 to 51.8 percent in May.

Non-oil exports, on the other hand, fell by 0.03 billion riyals, or 0.1 percent, from April 2022 to April 2023. Saudi imports fell by 2.2 billion riyals, or 4 percent, in May compared to April 2022.

China remains Saudi’s largest importer, accounting for 13.3 percent of total exports with a value of 19.2 billion riyals in May, followed by India and Japan, which imported goods worth 14.7 billion riyals and 12.5 billion riyals, respectively.

In May, the value of Chinese imports was 10.2 billion riyals.

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