Abu Dhabi / WAM
The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade stood at AED1.172 trillion during the first nine months of 2016 (January-September), compared to AED1.170 trillion in the same period in 2015, showing a 0.1 percent growth.
Preliminary data of the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) indicated that the share of imports in the UAE’s total non-oil trade amounted to AED721.2 billion, compared to AED713.1 billion during the same period in 2015, recording a rise of 1 percent.
Native gold and semi-processed gold topped the list of imported goods, recording AED89.6 billion – 12 percent of the total non-oil imports.
Mobile phones bagged the second slot in the imports list with a value of AED65.7 billion at 9 percent; cars came third with a value of AED 38.6 billion at 5.3 percent and non-composite diamond came next with a value of AED35.4 billion at 5 percent, followed by petroleum oils recording AED26.4 billion with 4 percent of the total non-oil imports during the period.
Commissioner Ali Al Kaabi, Head of FCA, said that the growth in the volume of the UAE’s direct non-oil trade, despite the trade decline witnessed by great economies across the world, reflects the country’s success in achieving economic diversification and affirms the improvement and competitiveness of national products in global markets.
He said that the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade growth reflects the importance of the country’s position in the world trade exchange map and its leadership as a regional trade centre and trade gateway.
“Non-oil trade activity reflects an improvement in the UAE’s trade balance with many countries and supports traders’ and investors’ confidence in the UAE economy. The near future holds new investment opportunities in the light of expansion, diversity and innovation policies adopted by the wise leadership,” Al Kaabi added.
“The UAE’s direct non-oil foreign trade formed 69 percent of the total volume of foreign trade, valued at AED813.7 billion. The share of free-zone trade was 31 percent and valued at AED358 billion,” he said.
Al Kaabi also noted that there was an increase in imports by 1 percent and a significant increase in exports by 6 percent, which reflect rise of the demand of national products.
He expected that the coming years would witness a great expansion of the national products within and outside the UAE in light of the new Federal Government strategy for the country in the post-oil era.
The FCA stated that the UAE’s exports grew by 6 percent as it reached AED149.1 billion, compared to AED140.5 billion during the same period of 2015.
Gold exports came on top at a value of AED43.3 billion, representing 29 percent of the total non-oil exports, followed by raw aluminium with a value of AED14.1 billion at 9.5 percent, ornaments and jewellery with a value of AED13.6 billion at 9 percent, ethylene polymers in primary forms with a value of AED9.5 billion at 6 percent and cigarettes and cigars with a value of AED6.6 billion at 4 percent of the total non-oil exports.
The re-exports value recorded AED301.4 billion. Mobile phones came first as the best re-exported commodity with a value of AED48.1 billion at 16 percent of the total re-exports. Next came non-composite diamond with a value of AED37.3 billion at 12 percent of the total re-exports, followed by ornaments and jewellery with a value of AED23.5 billion at 8 percent, cars with a value of AED17.6 billion at 6 percent and automatic data processing machines with a value of AED12.6 billion at 4 percent of the total re-exports.
The total non-oil trade volume in terms of weight was approximately 176.7 million tonnes with 77.7 million tonnes of imported goods, 84.7 million tonnes of exports and 14.3 million tonnes of re-exports.
According to the FCA, the regional structure of the UAE’s trading partners in the field of non-oil trade was stable in terms of regional shares. Therefore, Asia, Australia and the Pacific region stayed on the top among the non-oil trade partners with a share of AED465.7 billion, equivalent to 42 percent of the total non-oil trade.
The European region came second in this list with a share of AED250.4 billion at 23 percent of the total non-oil trade, followed by the Middle East and North Africa Region with AED213.9 billion at 19 percent, the American and Caribbean Region with AED105.8 billion at 10 percent, the West and Central Africa with AED35.9 billion at 3.2 percent and the Eastern and Southern Africa with AED35.8 billion, at 3 percent of the total non-oil trade.
The share of the UAE non-oil trade with the GCC countries constituted 11 percent of the total non-oil trade with the world, amounting to AED126.1 billion.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia topped the list of Gulf countries with a value of AED54.8 billion at 43 percent of the UAE’s total non-oil trade with the GCC countries, followed by Oman with a value of AED23.6 billion at 19 percent, Kuwait with AED18.8 billion at 15 percent, Qatar with AED16.4 billion at 13 percent and the Kingdom of Bahrain with a value of AED12.5 billion at 10 percent.
In terms of trade with the Arab countries during the first nine months of 2016, the FCA data showed that the UAE’s total non-oil trade with the Arab states constituted 19 percent of its total non-oil trade with the world, with a value of AED218.3 billion.