Abu Dhabi ports recorded a 15.7 per cent increase in non-oil trade in the second quarter compared to a year earlier, driven by increased foreign demand for precious metals, according to data from the Statistics Center Abu Dhabi.
Some Dh42.4 billion of non-oil merchandise was traded by sea and air in the second quarter, up from Dh36.6bn in the second quarter of 2014.
Much of this change was the result of a Dh4.4bn increase in demand for precious metals, including gold.
Gold, which was trading yesterday at $1104.4 per ounce, is close to a five-year low.
Imports to Abu Dhabi accounted for 69 per cent of the emirate’s trade.
Machinery and transport equipment accounted for more than half of imports in the second quarter. Commodities and manufactured goods accounted for the largest share of exports by value.
“For the UAE the key driver is global demand, because it’s a logistics hub for the region and possibly the rest of the world,” said Jason Tuvey, an emerging markets economist at Capital Economics. “These figures could be an indication that global demand isn’t as weak as some would expect,”
“The UAE is seen as midway between Asia and Europe, and trade diversion has probably also played a role in increasing trade to the UAE,” he said.
Follow The National's Business section on Twitter