Increase in imports and re-exports offsets decline in exports
UAE's non-oil foreign trade grows year-on-year in first quarter
Non-oil foreign trade in the UAE climbed 3.2 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017 as imports and re-exports of goods recorded growth in the second-largest economy in the Arabian Gulf region, the Federal Customs Authority said on Tuesday.
Total non-oil foreign trade for three months ending March 31 stood at Dh401 billion, up from Dh388bn from a year-earlier period, the authority said, adding that imports grew 5.2 per cent to Dh245bn, while re-exports increased by 7.4 per cent for the period to Dh110bn.
Exports from the UAE, the commercial and trading hub of the broader Middle East region, declined 12.5 per cent to Dh46bn.
The Asia/Pacific region maintained its lead as top trading partner, accounting for 43 per cent of total trade volume. Europe followed with 21 per cent, while Middle East and North Africa accounted for 19.5 per cent and America and the Caribbean 10 per cent.
Manufactured and semi-manufactured gold was the main import commodity in terms of value, accounting for 14 per cent of the total, followed by mobile phones with 10 per cent, cars with 6 per cent, diamonds with 5 per cent and petroleum oils with 4 per cent.
In terms of re-exports, mobile phones claimed the top spot, accounting for 15 per cent of total value of goods, followed by diamonds with 12 per cent, cars with 9 per cent and jewellery and precious metals with 6 per cent.
Raw gold held the pole position in terms of the goods exported out of the country, accounting for 26 per cent of total export value, followed by raw aluminium with 12 per cent, jewellery and precious metals with 11 per cent and polymers of ethane with 6 per cent, the authority said.