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Oman’s trade surplus grows 35% to RO2.6bn in Q1 2024

9 Jun 2024 By GULAM ALI KHAN

Muscat – Oman’s quarterly trade surplus expanded by 35% year-on-year thanks to a sharp increase in the value of the sultanate’s merchandise exports and comparatively slow growth in imports in the first quarter of this year.

The sultanate’s trade balance recorded a surplus of RO2.61bn during the January–March period of 2024 compared to RO1.932bn in the same period of 2023, according to the data released by the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

The statistics showed that the value of merchandise exports reached RO6.502bn in the first quarter, up from RO5.572bn in the corresponding period of 2023, recording an increase of 16.7%.

The increase in the value of exports was mainly due to the rise in both hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon exports. Oil and gas exports reached RO3.722bn in the first quarter of this year, recording a growth of 3.1% from RO3.609bn a year ago.

Among hydrocarbon exports, the value of Oman’s crude oil exports amounted to RO2.704bn, recording an increase of 13.3% over the same period last year. However, the value of refined oil exports decreased to RO336mn, a drop of 13.9%. The value of Oman’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports decreased to RO682mn, down by 18.1%, compared to the first quarter of 2023.

Non-oil exports jump 45%

The NCSI data revealed that the value of non-oil exports sharply increased by 44.9% in the first quarter of 2024 to reach RO2.338bn, compared to the same period of 2023 when non-oil shipments amounted to RO1.614bn.

Mineral products had the highest value among non-oil commodity exports, with their value reaching RO1.169bn, a sharp increase of 127% over the same period in 2023, followed by ordinary metal products and their derivatives at RO352mn, an increase of 9.6%. The value of exports of chemicals and related products rose by 7.3% to RO253mn in the first quarter of this year.

Additionally, the value of Oman’s exports of plastics and rubber and their products increased by more than 20% to RO233mn.

The value of re-exports from Oman increased by 26.8% to RO442mn in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.

Imports rise 6.9%

On the other hand, the value of Oman’s merchandise imports increased by 6.9% to RO3.892bn in the first quarter of 2024 against RO3.64bn in the first quarter of last year.

Metal products received the largest value of imports to Oman, recording RO1.097bn in the first quarter of this year, rising by 15%. This was followed by imports of machinery, appliances, electrical equipment and their parts, and audio recording and broadcasting equipment, with a value of RO605mn, recording a growth of 8.1% in the first quarter.

Imports of chemicals and related industry products grew 2.1% to RO375mn in the first quarter of 2024, while imports of transportation equipment decreased by 2% to RO330mn.

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