Complex Made Simple

Dubai’s foreign trade falls marginally as re-exports weaken

  • Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade falls marginally in H1
  • Imports reached AED401 billion
  • Re-exports totalled AED172 billion

As re-exports shrank, Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade fell marginally in the first-half of the year. The total trade during the first six months of 2016 ending on June 30 was AED647 billion, down by 0.77 per cent from AED652bn recorded in the corresponding period last year, according to the figures revealed by Dubai Customs.

As always, imports made up a large part of the emirate’s trade. With AED401bn, they accounted for 61.98 per cent of the total trade during the period under review. However, the figure was encouraging as it was down from last year’s AED402bn.

Re-exports totaled AED172bn during the first-half marking a drop from AED185bn from the year earlier period.

Nonetheless, exports from the city swelled from AED65bn in H1 2015 to AED74bn this year.

Dubai also saw a 17 per cent upsurge in total volume of traded goods, rising as high as 49 million tons in commodities, from 41m tons in the same period last year, Dubai Customs said.

“To offset the impact of the general slowdown in the world economy, lower commodity prices and the slump in oil prices, Dubai has wisely restructured and broadened its sources of revenue, while taking considerable measures to stimulate growth in the affected sectors,” said DP World Group Chairman and CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

Smartphones, mobiles and fixed phones made up the largest group of commodities traded through Dubai’s borders, with a total value of AED84bn, while computers amounted to AED20 bn.

Gold represented AED75bn of Dubai’s total foreign trade, while diamonds reached AED51bn worth of trade and jewellery was valued at AED34bn.

Although trade volume declined, China remained Dubai’s top trading partner, with total bilateral trade standing at AED79bn, down from AED90bn in same period a year ago. India came in second with bilateral trade at AED 48bn and the USA followed closely with AED 43bn in trade.

Saudi Arabia continued to be the emirate’s fourth-biggest trade partner globally and the foremost in the Middle East.

Direct trade was the main component of Dubai’s foreign trade at AED 420bn, while Free Zones and customs warehouses accounted for AED211bn and AED16bn, respectively.

In terms of modes of cargo conveyance, AED300bn worth of goods were shipped by air, AED233bn by sea and AED113bn of cargo was carried on land, according to the statistics by Dubai Customs.