Saudi Arabia's non-oil exports jumped 28.4% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021 to 69.3 billion riyals ($18.48 billion) mainly due to higher shipments of plastics and chemicals, data issued by the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) on Wednesday showed.
Saudi Arabia exported SR51.7 billion worth of shipments to China, making up 18.7% of total exports. Countries that came next were India and Japan, with shares of 9.6% and 9.5%, respectively.
Compared to Q2-2021, non-oil exports in the third quarter rose 5.5%. The ratio of non-oil exports to imports increased to 48% in Q3 2021 from 44% in the year-ago period.
Sales of plastics, rubber and other related articles surged by 49%, while exports of products relating to the chemical or allied industries rose by 38.4%.
Overall, exports increased by 72% year-on-year to 276 billion riyals ($73 billion), mainly due to higher oil exports, which rose by 100 billion riyals, or nearly 94%, in the same period. The share of oil exports in total exports rose to 75% from 66.4% in the year-ago period.
Meanwhile, imports to the kingdom increased 17% to 144.6 billion riyals compared to the same quarter in 2020. This generated a trade surplus of 131 billion riyals, the third consecutive quarter of surplus this year, GASTAT data showed.
Saudi Arabia’s imports from China were valued at SR30.9 billion in the third quarter of 2021. This constituted more than a fifth of the Kingdom’s imports.
Imports from the US and the UAE were also relatively large, as they made up 10.3% and 7.2%, respectively.
South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Egypt, Taiwan, Bahrain, and Singapore were among the top 10 countries to which Saudi exports were made.
The total number of Saudi exports to those ten countries amounted to 185.6 billion riyals ($49.4 billion), which represents 67.3% of the total exports.