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Export growth drives Oman’s trade surplus

Oman’s trade balance has shown promising signs in the first quarter of 2024. The National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI) reports a surplus of RO 2.610 billion, a significant increase from RO 1.932 billion recorded during the same period in 2023.

Official data reveals a significant rise in Oman’s merchandise exports by Q1 2024. Export figures reached RO 6.502 billion, reflecting a growth of 16.7% compared to the same period in 2023. This increase outpaced the growth in imports, which rose by 6.9% to RO 3.892 billion.

Leading sectors for exports

The surge in exports is attributed primarily to the oil and gas sector, with exports valued at RO 3.722 billion, representing a 3.1% increase year-on-year. This growth suggests a positive performance in Oman’s key export sector, potentially influenced by global market conditions.

Exports of non-oil goods also grew significantly, reaching RO 2.338 billion at the end of March 2024, an increase of 44% over Q1 2023. Driving the result are industries related to the extraction or production of

  • Minerals (+127%),
  • Metals and their manufactures (+9.6%),
  • Plastics, rubber and related products (+20.4%).

Re-exports jump in Q1 2024

Oman’s re-export activity saw a significant increase in the first quarter of 2024, with a total value reaching RO 442 million. This represents a notable 26.8% rise compared to the same period in 2023. The growth was driven primarily by sectors like transportation equipment (+49.3%) and machinery and electrical equipment (+22%). While some categories like food and beverages experienced a slight decline, others like mineral products saw a substantial increase (+56.8%).

Metals lead Oman’s import growth

An analysis of Oman’s import figures for Q1 2024 reveals that metal products topped the chart, reaching a value of RO 1.097 billion by the end of March. This translates to a significant increase of 15% compared to the same period last year.
Following closely behind were machinery, electrical equipment, and related products, valued at RO 605 million, representing an 8.1% growth. Chemical imports saw a moderate increase of 2.1%.

Saudi Arabia and UAE lead Oman’s trade activity

The first quarter of 2024 saw Saudi Arabia emerge as the top destination for Oman’s non-oil exports, with a value exceeding RO 238 million. This represents a positive trend, reflecting a 9.5% increase compared to the same period in 2023.

Within the re-export sector, the United Arab Emirates held the leading position. Oman’s re-exports to the UAE reached RO 175 million, highlighting the strong trade relationship between the two nations.
The UAE further solidified its position as a key trading partner by ranking first among Oman’s import sources. Imports from the UAE reached a value of RO 982 million, demonstrating a slight increase of 1.4% from the end of March 2023.


Read also: Omani hydrogen describes the trajectory to Europe
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