The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) total international merchandise trade movement reached $1.146 trillion, compared to $840.7 billion in 2020, an increase of 36.4 percent.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia contributed about three-quarters of the volume of foreign merchandise trade, while the total merchandise exports in 2021 amounted to $668.6 billion, an increase of 52.5 percent compared to 2020.
The GCC Statistical Center revealed that national exports originating from GCC countries increased 57.2 percent to $564.4 billion, compared to 2020, while the value of re-exported goods saw a 30.9 percent increase to $104.2 billion in 2021.
The GCC’s merchandise balance surplus in 2021 increased 423.9 percent to $190.6 billion last year, compared to $36.4 billion in 2020.
Oil and its products accounted for 73.7 percent of GCC exports, amounting to about $415.9 billion in 2021, compared to $252.2 billion in 2020, with a growth rate of 64.9 percent over the previous year.
Other commodity exports from the GCC include plastics and its products at 5.9 percent, gold and precious stones at 5.4 percent, organic chemical products at 3.2 percent, and aluminum at 2.9 percent.
Machinery and electrical appliances represented 24 percent of the re-exported goods in the past year, to reach $25 billion, compared to $20 billion in 2020.
Other re-exports from the GCC include gold and precious stones at 25 percent, machinery and mechanical equipment at 11.8 percent, cars and vehicle parts at 10.2 percent, and oil and its products at 4.8 percent.
The gold and precious stones sector topped the list of imports with 16.2 percent, amounting to $77.2 billion, an increase of 46 percent compared to 2020, followed by machinery and electrical appliances at 13.2 percent, then machinery and automated equipment at 11.6 percent.
Other import products include cars and vehicle parts, accounting for nine percent, and pharmaceutical products, accounting for 3.4 percent.
China ranked first as GCC’s top trading partner in 2021 in total merchandise exports, accounting for 19.5 percent.
Last year, GCC’s exports to China reached $130.6 billion, compared to $71 billion in 2020, a growth of 83.9 percent, while India ranked second at 13.9 percent, followed by Japan at 11.5 percent, and South Korea at 5.9 percent.
In 2021, the GCC imported $98.3 billion in products from China, compared to $77.2 billion in 2020, an increase of 27.3 percent.
Total merchandise imports include the US at 8.6 percent, India at 7.5 percent, Japan at 4.6 percent, and Germany at 4.2 percent.