| 24 February 2024, Saturday |

Saudi trade surplus rises to $12 billion

Saudi Arabia’s trade surplus continued to rise for the second consecutive month, registering 44 billion riyals (around $12 billion) in September. This figure marks a significant 27.5% monthly increase, compared to the surplus in August, when it reached 34 billion riyals, but remained in a decline of 31.5 percent on an annual basis.

The General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) reported a 17.1% downturn in commodity exports, amounting to about 103.8 billion riyals, compared to September of the previous year.

This decline was mainly due to a 17.1% drop in oil exports, which fell to 83.1 billion riyals (around $22.2 billion) from 100.3 billion riyals in September 2022, as a result of the voluntary production cut initiated by Saudi Arabia in May, as part of its commitment to the OPEC+ alliance, aimed at stabilizing global oil markets.

Oil exports represented 80.1% of total exports in September, a slight increase from 80% the same month last year.

On a monthly basis, merchandise exports decreased by 0.1 percent, while non-oil exports, which include re-exports, fell by 17.2 percent to 20.7 billion riyals in September 2023, compared to about 25 billion riyals in September 2022.

Imports also saw a decrease by 2.2%, amounting to 60.1 billion riyals compared to 61.5 billion riyals the previous year.

Meanwhile, China remained Saudi Arabia’s main trading partner, with exports to the country constituting 18.3% of total exports in September.

The top ten export destinations included India, UAE, USA, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, and Poland, and accounted for 67.1% of total exports. Similarly, the top ten countries for imports, namely China, USA, UAE, India, Egypt, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, South Korea, and Italy represented 62.3% of total imports.

The Jeddah Islamic Port constituted the main port for goods entering Saudi Arabia, accounting for 24.1% of total imports in September, followed by other major ports such as the King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam and the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat