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Gulf’s foreign trade declines by 21% in 2020

Gulf trade

The Gulf’s foreign merchandise trade decreased during the year 2020 by 21.5% compared to the year 2019.

The GCC Statistical Center said that the total value of the Gulf foreign trade movement amounted to about $840.7 billion in 2020.

In 2019, it amounted to $1,071.0 billion, a decrease of 21.5%.

Gulf’s trade

At the level of the member states’ contribution to the council, the statistical data showed that nearly three quarters of the merchandise foreign trade volume of the council states was contributed by the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The total merchandise exports of the GCC countries amounted to $438.5 billion during 2020, a decrease of 28.4% compared to 2019.

Exports of national origin (including oil) amounted to $358.9 billion during 2020, a decrease of 29.1% compared to 2019.

The value of re-exported goods amounted to $79.6 billion during 2020, a decrease of 24.5% compared to 2019.

Total merchandise imports decreased by 12.4% compared to 2019, to reach $402.2 billion during the year 2020.

Meanwhile, the GCC merchandise trade balance surplus decreased by 76.2% to reach $36.4 billion in 2020. This is compared to $153.2 billion in 2019.

Exports and imports

Oil and its products accounted for 70.3% of the value of merchandise exports of national origin, amounting to about $252.2 billion during the year 2020. This is compared to $404.6 billion for the year 2019, a decrease of 37.7% over the previous year.

Gold and precious stones accounted for 8.2%, then plastic and its products with 6.3%, organic chemical products with 3.3%, aluminum and its products with 2.8%, and fertilizers with 1.0%.

China ranked topped trading partners of the GCC in terms of total merchandise exports. It accounted for 19.0% of the total merchandise exports in 2020.

The value of total merchandise exports to China amounted to about 83.1 billion dollars in 2020. This is compared to $106.3 billion in 2019, a decrease of 21.8%.

China also ranked first among the most important trading partners of the GCC in the total merchandise imports. It contributed 20.0% of the value of the total imports of the GCC countries from global markets for the year 2020, by about $80.4 billion for the year 2020. This is compared to $83.7 billion in 2019, a decrease of 3.9%.

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