Amid slowing economic growth in the region and depressed global commodity prices the value of Oman’s non-oil exports witnessed a major slump during the first five months of 2016.
The sultanate’s non-oil exports fell 24.9 per cent to RO985.3mn in the January-May period of this year against RO1.31bn a year earlier, latest statistics released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) showed.
The sharp decline in non-oil exports was the result of a fall in the export value of chemicals, plastics and rubber, and base metals and articles.
Among the major non-oil items, chemical exports dropped 29 per cent to RO221mn from RO311.6mn, while export of base metals and articles dropped 35 per cent to RO186mn from RO287.1mn a year ago. Plastics and rubber exports slumped by 50 per cent to RO52.1mn, while mineral product shipments decreased 12.7 per cent to RO241.4mn.
Non-oil exports to the UAE, which continued to remain Oman's biggest non-oil trading partner, increased by 6.6 per cent to RO290mn, but exports to Saudi Arabia dropped more than 21 per cent to RO127.4mn.
Non-oil exports to China fell 18.2 per cent to RO83.2mn in the first five months this year, while exports to other countries slumped 48 per cent to RO330.8mn.
The sultanate's re-exports, however, recorded a small increase of 1.5 per cent, to RO892.6mn, in the first five months of 2016 from RO879.6mn in corresponding period of 2015. The increase in value of re-exports was largely due to a big jump in the re-export of mineral products, which rose to RO282.4mn from RO50.2mn.
Re-exports to the UAE recorded a major decline of 54 per cent to RO223.7mn in the first five months of 2016, while the same to Saudi Arabia decreased 26.4 per cent to RO92.7mn.Other countries such as Iraq, China and Iran recorded significant growth in re-exports from Oman. Re-exports to Iraq grew nearly ten times to RO114.7mn, while China’s share more than tripled at RO87.6mn.