Muscat: The Sultanate’s non-oil exports surged 33.6 per cent to reach OMR272.1 million in January 2018, from OMR203.6 million for the same period in 2017.
Since prices of a number of petrochemical products are positively correlated to the global prices of energy, the Sultanate could gain immensely due to the recent rise in oil prices. A major recovery in energy prices indirectly helped the country to strengthen its non-oil export revenues, as well.
Also, a very large growth in exports of mineral products, chemical products, base metals and live animals aided the recovery in non-oil exports, according to the latest monthly statistics released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
Among the non-oil product categories, exports of mineral products shot up year-on-year by 62.7 per cent to OMR36.8 million, while exports of chemical products were up 41.6 per cent to OMR79.5 million in January 2018, over the same period last year.
Further, export revenues from base metals and live animals, and its products, jumped year-on-year by 22.6 per cent and 41.8 per cent to OMR62.3 million and OMR21.1 million, respectively.
As part of the country’s diversification programme, the Sultanate has taken major steps to strengthen its export base of non-oil products.
Apart from petrochemicals, the Sultanate’s focused non-oil export products include processed aluminium, fertilisers, fish, minerals, metals and metal products, dates, chemicals, plastic products, detergents, mattresses and pharmaceuticals.
Re-exports also showed a 6.4 per cent growth at OMR131.3 million in January 2018, against OMR123.4 million for the same period last year, the NCSI reported.
The country’s total exports grew by 32.8 per cent to OMR1,201.6 million during January, 2018, from OMR904.6 million during the same period in 2017, mainly on account of a recovery in crude oil prices in the international market.
Export revenues from oil and gas exports rose by 38.2 per cent to OMR798.2 million for January 2018, from OMR577.6 million during the same period in 2017.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) retained its position as the leading destination of the Sultanate’s non-oil exports in the first month of 2018.
The Sultanate’s non-oil exports to the UAE reached OMR52.3 million in January, 2018, according to the NCSI report.
The Sultanate’s exports to the UAE showed a growth of 7.2 per cent in January 2018, compared to the same period in 2017.
Further, reports the NCSI, Saudi Arabia was the second largest importer of Omani products, followed by Qatar, India and China.
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil imports from the Sultanate surged ahead by 155.6 per cent to OMR36.3 million, while Qatar imported Omani products valued at OMR31.9 million, a growth of 179.8 per cent.
It may be noted that the Sultanate’s total non-oil exports rose 33.7 per cent to OMR272 million in January 2018, from OMR203.4 million for the same period in 2017.
The Sultanate export development agency, the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Ithra’a), is undertaking several programmes to expand non-oil exports, especially to its target markets. These programs include visits of trade delegations, participation in international exhibitions, business-to-business meetings and market studies in potential export markets.
Meanwhile, the Sultanate’s merchandise imports increased by 5.1 per cent to OMR861.8 million in January 2018, compared to OMR819.7 in the same period in 2017.
The country’s imports through sea ports rose by 6.6 per cent to OMR486.5 million in January 2018, against OMR456.4 million for the same period in 2017, added NCSI in its monthly report.
Also, imports via land rose marginally by 2 per cent to OMR251.4 million in the first month of 2018, against OMR246.5 million for the same period in 2017.
Imports by air (air cargo) also rose by 6 per cent to OMR123.8 million in January 2018, against OMR116.8 million for the same month in 2017, the NCSI report shows.
The Sultanate imported 2.73 million tonnes of goods in January this year, against 2.85 million tonnes during the same period in 2017.