x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai trade slows as India and gold dominate figures

Dubai's trade growth slowed to 6.6 per cent in the first quarter of the year against a backdrop of a rocky global economy.

Dubai's trade growth slowed to 6.6 per cent in the first quarter of the year against a backdrop of a rocky global economy.

The emirate's non-oil trade reached Dh298.1 billion (US$81.15bn) during the quarter, up from Dh279.7bn during the same period last year, data released yesterday by Dubai Customs showed.

The rate of growth, however, dropped from 30 per cent in the same quarter in 2010 to last year.

"The continued growth in Dubai's foreign trade reflects the strength and resilience of the UAE economy, thereby affirming the wise approach adopted to support economic diversity," said Ahmed Butti Ahmed, the director general of Dubai Customs.

Dubai's exports and re-exports rose 8.5 per cent to Dh122.9bn between the first quarter of this year and the same period last year. Imports reached Dh177.2bn, up from Dh175.2bn during the same period.

Mr Ahmed forecast in April that Dubai's trade would surge by 20 per cent this year, despite concerns linked to cooling growth in Asia and the euro-zone crisis. But he expressed concern about international sanctions against Iran disrupting trade flows. Iran is a key market for a wide range of goods.

India remained Dubai's top trading partner during the first quarter. The value of imports, exports and re-exports between the two countries reached more than Dh40bn. More than half of that amount related to exports and re-exports headed to India.

China was the leading exporter to Dubai, with Dh25.5bn of goods flowing from the world's second-biggest economy. India was the next-biggest exporter, at Dh19bn.

Gold was Dubai's biggest export during the period, accounting for Dh18.6bn. International prices of the precious metal rose 5.6 per cent during the first quarter. Jewellery and other precious metals were the second largest exports at Dh1.4bn. Telecommunications equipment and devices were the leading re-export products, totalling Dh19.5bn, ahead of diamonds at Dh13.6bn.

Gold also topped the list of imports, accounting for Dh25.6bn.

tarnold@thenational.ae

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