Value of Saudi Arabia's October exports rises 90% amid higher oil prices

The kingdom’s non-oil exports increased 25.5% on annual basis during the month, official data shows

The skyline of Riyadh. Saudi Arabia's economy has bounced back strongly from the pandemic-driven slowdown. Photo: AFP

Saudi Arabia’s exports almost doubled in October, boosted by the continued global economic recovery and higher hydrocarbon prices that lifted the value of oil exports from the kingdom.

Overall exports from the Arab world’s biggest economy climbed 90 per cent on annual basis in October to 106.2 billion riyals ($28.32bn), up from 55.9bn riyals recorded during the same period in 2020, according to data from the kingdom’s General Authority for Statistics. Month-on-month, total merchandise exports increased by 11.5bn riyals, or 12.2 per cent, from the September level.

“This increase originated mainly from oil exports, which rose by 45.5bn riyals, or 123 per cent in the same period”, as the share of oil exports in total exports from the country jumped to 77.6 per cent in October from 66.1 per cent in the same period last year, said the authority's monthly trade report.

Saudi Arabia’s economy has rebounded strongly as oil prices soared amid continued global economic recovery from the pandemic-driven slowdown. The demand for oil, which accounts for a majority of the kingdom’s exports, has stayed strong despite the emerging Covid-19 variants.

Oil prices have rebounded over the past year, touching a three-year high of more than $80 per barrel in November. Brent, the benchmark for more than half of the world’s oil, is currently trading above $75 per barrel level.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia said it expects to post its first surplus in about a decade in 2022, with economic growth forecast of 7.4 per cent.

Next year's growth will be driven by an increase in oil revenue, a projected improvement in the kingdom's non-oil gross domestic product, a continued economic recovery from the pandemic and the enactment of initiatives and programmes that are intended to diversify the economy, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan said at the time.

Riyadh expects a fiscal deficit of 2.7 per cent of GDP this year. The economy is set to grow 2.9 per cent in 2021, driven by a rise in non-oil GDP, which is forecast to expand 4.8 per cent.

The kingdom’s non-oil exports increased by 25.5 per cent year-on-year in October to 23.8bn riyals from 19bn riyals in October 2020. They, however, decreased month-on-month by 1.5bn riyals, or 5.9 per cent, according to government data.

Overall imports increased by 7.6 per cent, or 3.3bn riyals in October 2021 to reach 46.3bn riyals. Imports, however, fell compared to the previous month by 1.1bn riyals, the data showed.

Updated: December 26th 2021, 11:43 AM