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Non-oil exports jump 72% as global demand recovers from pandemic

26 Sep 2021 By GULAM ALI KHAN

Muscat – In a sharp bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic that had hit global trade hard last year, Oman’s non-oil exports shot up by more than 72 per cent in the first half of this year, after economies reopened and global demand started to recover from the crisis.

Total non-oil exports surged by 72.4 per cent to RO2.428bn in the first half of 2021 from RO1.408bn in the same period of last year, driven by improved demand from key markets in the region and around the world, according to data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

As Oman’s economy returns to normalcy after last year’s twin-shock of oil price collapse and the coronavirus outbreak, the burgeoning demand for Omani exports suggests that the sultanate’s economy is well on a recovery path.

Exports to the UAE, the biggest destination for the sultanate’s non-oil shipments, grew by 29 per cent to RO388.9mn during the January–June period of this year against RO302.1mn in the corresponding period of 2020. Exports to Saudi Arabia also grew more than 18 per cent to RO267.4mn during the first six months of 2021.

As more trading partners of the sultanate lifted coronavirus restrictions this year, the robust growth in Omani exports was led by strong demand from China, India and other countries.

The NCSI data, however, suggests that the brisk recovery in non-oil exports is broad based for almost all of Oman’s trading partners. The sultanate’s strong trade performance shows that Omani exporters are making good recovery in attracting overseas orders.

Non-oil exports to China more than doubled to RO156.1mn in the first half of 2021 against RO71mn worth of shipments in the same period of 2020. Exports to India surged by more than 49 per cent to RO176.6mn this year compared to RO118.3mn recorded in the corresponding period of last year.

The United States accounted for RO153.2mn worth of Omani exports this year, up 38 per cent compared to the same period of 2020.

In what appears to be a strengthening external trade recovery, Omani exports to other countries jumped 122 per cent to RO1.286bn in the first half of 2021 from RO580mn in 2020.

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