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UAE’s non-oil foreign trade rises

Oil prices are plunging worldwide, but UAE's non-oil trade value is rising, with Saudi being the top partner and gold the heavily traded commodity

The value of UAE’s direct foreign non-oil trade is at AED524.7 billion during the first half of 2014, preliminary statistics of the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) reveals.

FCA did not give a figure for the first half of 2013, but said the state’s foreign non-oil trade was growing relatively more stable during the first half of 2014.

However, out of the non-oil trade value, imports amounted to AED340.1bn, exports to AED63.3bn, and re-exports to AED121.4bn, according to FCA.

“UAE has continued to strengthen its pre-eminent position on the world trade map, and expand the role it plays in facilitating trade between countries during the first half of this year driven by the increase of activity in all economic sectors, and the improvement of the state’s competitiveness in many global indicators,” UAE news agency WAM reported citing a FCA press statement.

UAE direct total foreign non-oil trade reached 86.4 million tons during the first half of the year, 33.74m tons of which were imports, 47.1m tons were exports and 5.6m tons were re-exports.

According to the FCA, Asia, Australia and the Pacific region maintained their position on the top of the list of the UAE’s non-oil trading partners with 42 per cent of the total non-oil trade value, followed by the European region with 27 per cent, the Mena region with 15 per cent, America and the Caribbean with nine per cent, Central Africa with four per cent, and finally East and South Africa with three per cent.

UAE’s top trading partners in the gulf region for the first six months of the year are:

  • Saudi Arabia representing 36 per cent of non-oil trade at AED17.4bn
  • Sultanate of Oman with 27 per cent at AED13.2bn
  • Kuwait with 15 per cent at AED7.2bn
  • Qatar with 13 per cent at AED6.4bn
  • Bahrain with nine per cent at AED4.3bn

Interestingly, the best goods imported by the UAE during the first half of 2014 include:

  • Native gold and semi-processed gold at AED51.3bn, representing 15 per cent of total imports
  • Vehicles at a value of AED24.6bn, representing seven per cent of total imports
  • Non-composite diamonds at a value of AED20.7bn, representing six per cent of total imports
  • Ornaments and jewellery of precious metals with a value of AED16.3bn, representing five per cent of total imports
  • Mobile phones with a value of AED12.4bn, representing four per cent of the total imports