7.7pc fall in imports during Jan-March 2020 period

MUSCAT: Oman’s exports declined 7.7 per cent in value terms to RO 3.53 billion during the first three months of this year (January – March), down from RO3.82 billion for the same period of 2019, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

Oil and gas exports recorded a fall of 5.5 per cent to reach RO 2.34 billion this year, largely on account of a drop in oil prices. While RO 1.72 billion came from oil exports, liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports accounted for RO 415.1 million.

Non-oil exports also fell 27.6 per cent to reach RO 722.2 million until the end of March 2020, from RO997.4 million for the same period of 2019. Mineral products accounted for RO 68.8 million in export revenue while chemicals and base metals and articles contributed RO123.1 million and RO224.4 million, respectively.

In addition, the value of total re-exports rose 33 per cent to RO 463.4 million this year, against RO 348.5 million during the same period last year.

Total imports from various trading partners dropped 11.1 per cent to RO 1.99 billion this year. Major import items included live animals and its products, prepared foodstuff, mineral products, chemical products, base metals and articles, electrical machinery and mechanical equipment, and transport equipment.

The Sultanate imported live animals and processed products worth RO130.6 million this year, against RO 133.1 million for the same period of last year. In addition, the Sultanate’s import of prepared foodstuff and beverages fell 8.8 per cent to RO 127.1 million from RO 139.4 million last year.

Imports of mineral products and electrical machinery and mechanical equipment fell by 13.7 per cent each, respectively. Meanwhile, those of chemical products and transport equipment also fell by 2.5 per cent and 24.6 per cent, respectively.

According to the NCSI report, the total value of merchandise imports through sea outlets fell by 15.8 per cent to RO 1,033.8 million this year compared to RO 1,227.3 million during the same period of 2019. The value of merchandise imports arriving via land outlets rose by 3.1 per cent, recording RO694.9 million until the end of March 2020.  Total value of merchandise imports arriving via air outlets fell by 22.2 per cent to reach RO 270.8 million recorded until the end of March 2020.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) retained its position as the leading destination of the Sultanate’s non-oil exports until the end of March 2020. The Sultanate’s non-oil exports to UAE rose 14 per cent to touch RO 180.1 million this year.  Saudi Arabia was the second-largest importer of Omani non-oil products, followed by Qatar, the United States, and India.

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil imports from the Sultanate fell by 47.9 per cent to RO 112.8 million while Qatar imported Omani products valued at RO 73.9 million. Meanwhile, India’s imports from Oman fell 3.6 per cent to RO 57.1 million while United States imported goods worth RO 64.1 million from Oman. Imports from the UAE fell 10.8 per cent RO 856.3 million during the Jan – March period this year.  ONA

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