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Saudi Arabian non-oil exports fall by SR1.7bn

Saudi Arabia: Tuesday, April 14 - 2009 @ 13:02

The total weight of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports was 3,336 tonnes compared with 3,425 tonnes in January 2008, a decline of 3%.

The total value of imports into the kingdom in January this year was SR28.275bn compared to SR31.468bn during the same month in 2008, down 10%, while the total weight of imports fell 38%.

The value of non-oil exports to GCC states was SR1.99bn for the month of January compared to SR2.55bn during January of 2008, down 22%. The value of goods imported from the GCC during the same month in 2009 stood at SR1.411bn, a rise of 17%.

Petrochemicals top exports

Some of the most important commodities exported during January 2009 are petrochemicals, plastics, machinery, appliances and electrical equipment, and ordinary metals and by-products, in addition to re-exported goods.

Some of the most important imported goods are machinery and equipment, electrical equipment, transport equipment, basic metals plastic products, foodstuff, petrochemicals, plastics and textiles, and clothing.

Rise in gasoline imports

Oil industry sources confirmed that Saudi Arabia’s imports of gasoline would rise by 17% during April compared to March to compensate for the shortfall resulting from maintenance work at the refineries.

The kingdom, the largest oil exporter in the world, will import around 80,000 bpd in April, up from just over 68,000 bpd in March. Some traders said that the increase in gasoline imports are due to the unplanned closure of a fluidized catalytic cracking unit which has a capacity of 44,000 bpd, in the largest refinery in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia, in addition to pre- planned maintenance work for Riyadh refinery which has a capacity of 120,000 bpd.

It is likely that Saudi Arabia, which greatly subsidizes fuel that is sold to local retailers, will see the joint venture project between Rabigh Refining and Petrochemicals, Petrorabigh, begin production by the end of this month.

Energy consultancy P. F.C Energy was quoted by Reuters as saying that the production of gasoline from the joint venture is expected to amount to 60,000 bpd, allocated mainly for domestic consumption, and that the kingdom also plans to build a refinery in Jazan with a capacity of 400,000 bpd, although the project has been postponed several times.

Decline in net foreign assets

Official data showed the biggest decline the in net foreign assets of Saudi Arabia in at least two years in February, after the global crisis engulfed the markets, but money supply growth accelerated for the first time in October.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama)’s net foreign assets fell by 2% to SR1.585 trillion in February, according to the Central Bank, placing it at the lowest level since August 2008.

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Tuesday, April 14- 2009 @ 13:02 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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