Muscat – Helped by the post-pandemic economic recovery and improved demand for Omani products in the United States, India and the Middle East markets, the sultanate’s non-oil exports grew by more than 47 per cent in the first five months of this year.
Oman’s total non-oil exports jumped by 47.3 per cent to RO3.023bn during January – May period of 2022 compared to RO2.053bn recorded in the same period of 2021, driven by increased demand from key markets in the region and around the world, the data released by National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) showed.
The burgeoning demand for Omani exports suggests that the sultanate’s economy is well on a recovery path. Supported by strong recovery in oil prices and government’s economic stimulus measures, Oman’s nominal GDP grew at a solid pace of 25.7 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
As Oman’s major trading partners are continuing to record economic recovery after the pandemic slump, the robust growth in Omani exports this year was led by strong demand from the United States, India and the GCC countries.
Interestingly, the United States this year has become the biggest destination for non-oil Omani exports, overtaking the UAE, the NCSI data showed.
The sultanate’s non-oil exports to the US spiked more than 114 per cent in 2022 amounting to RO418mn in the first five months of the year compared to RO195mn for the same period of 2021.
Non-oil shipments to India also surged by 113.1 per cent to RO301.5mn in the first five months of this year as compared to RO141.5mn recorded in 2021.
Exports to the UAE increased by 4.8 per cent to RO334.4mn during the first five months of 2022 against RO319.2mn in the same period of last year. Oman’s non-oil exports to Saudi Arabia grew by 46.5 per cent to RO336.5mn in the five months period ended May 31, 2022.
The NCSI data suggests that the strong recovery in non-oil exports is broad-based for almost all of Oman’s major trading partners. The strong trade performance shows that Omani exporters are making good recovery in attracting overseas orders.
The sultanate’s non-oil exports to Qatar grew by 37.4 per cent to RO129mn in the first five months of this year against RO93.8mn in the same period a year ago.
Omani non-oil exports to rest other countries also jumped by more than 40 per cent during the first five months of 2022 to RO1.5bn against RO1.07bn in the same period of 2021.
International trade had collapsed during 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic forced much of the world into lockdown. However, global trade rebounded strongly in 2021, helping Omani exporters to recover the lost demand for their shipments.
Minerals, plastics and chemicals
As per the NCSI data, Oman’s mineral products export grew more than 108 per cent to RO757.5mn in the first five months of 2022 from RO363.9mn in the corresponding period of 2021. Shipments for chemical products also surged 47 per cent to RO618.1mn this year in comparison with RO420.5mn in the same period of last year.
With increased production capacity of Oman’s downstream industries, exports of plastics, rubber and their items grew more than 59 per cent to hit RO509.5mn value in the first five months of 2022 compared to RO319.9mn in the same period of 2021.
Base metals and their articles accounted for RO662mn worth of exports during the five months period this year, an increase of more than 29 per cent compared to RO512mn recorded in the previous year.
Oman’s re-exports, by contrast, declined 21.8 per cent in the first five months of 2022 at RO501.1mn compared to RO641.1mn recorded in 2021, according to the NCSI data.
The decline in re-exports was caused mainly due to reduced transshipments of transport equipments, instruments and food stuff and beverages.