The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s overall merchandise exports increased by 99.4% in Q2 2021 compared to Q2 2020, when international trade was impacted by COVID-related lockdowns and travel bans in numerous countries.
The value of exports amounted to SR238.6 billion in Q2 2021, up from SR119.7 billion in Q2 2020. This increase originated mainly from oil exports, which rose by SR96.5 billion or 126.1% in the same period.
The share of oil exports in total exports increased from 63.9% (Q2 2020) to 72.5% (Q2 2021). Compared to the previous quarter (Q1 2021), total merchandise exports increased by SR26.1 billion riyals or 12.3%.
According to the General Authority for Statistics' (GASTAT) International Trade Report, non-oil exports increased by 52.1% year-on-year in Q2 2021, rising to SR65.7 billion from 43.2 billion riyals in Q2 2020.
Of the most important non-oil goods, 'Plastics and Rubber and Articles Thereof' (34.3% of non-oil merchandise exports) increased by 63.9% (SR8.8 billion) and 'Products of the Chemical or Allied Industries' (31.0% of non-oil merchandise exports) increased by 61.9% (SR7.8 billion) from Q2 2020.
Non-oil exports increased compared to the previous quarter (Q1 2021) by SR5.6 billion or 9.4%.
Merchandise imports increased by 12.9% (SR16.1 billion) in Q2 2021. The value of imports amounted to SR140.9 billion in Q2 2021 compared to SR124.8 billion in Q2 2020.
This increase was due to the increase in many sectors compared to Q2 2020, mainly 'Vehicles and Associated Transport Equipment' (26.8%) and 'Pearls; Precious Stones; Imitation Jewelry' (452.2%). Imports also increased compared to the previous quarter (Q1 2021), by SR1.4 billion or 1.0%.
The ratio of non-oil exports to imports increased to 46.6% in Q2 2021 from 34.6% in Q2 2020 as a result of a higher increase in non-oil exports (52.1%) than in imports (12.9%) over that period.
In Q2 2021, exports to China amounted to SR46.4 billion (19.4% of total exports), making this country the main destination for exports of Saudi Arabia. India and Japan followed next with SR21.7 billion (9.1% of total exports) and SR20.7 billion (8.7% of total exports), respectively.
South Korea, USA, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Netherlands, Singapore, and Taiwan were the other countries that ranked in the top 10 destinations. Exports of Saudi Arabia to those 10 countries amounted to SR160.3 billion, accounting for 67.2% of total exports.
Imports from China amounted to SR25.7 billion in (18.2% of total imports) Q2 2021, making this country the main origin for imports of Saudi Arabia. United Arab Emirates and USA followed next with imports of SR13.5 billion (9.6% of total imports) and SR13.1 billion (9.3% of total imports), respectively.
Germany, India, Japan, Italy, Egypt, France and Canada were the other countries that ranked in the top 10 countries for imports. Imports of Saudi Arabia from those 10 countries amounted to SR87.9 billion, accounting for 62.3% of total imports.
As many as SR36.6 billion of imports, corresponding to 26.0% of the total, entered the Kingdom from Jeddah Islamic Sea Port in Q2 2021.
Among the other major ports of entry for the imports were King Abdulaziz Port (19.4%), King Khalid International Airport (12.4%), King Fahd Airport (7.0%), and Bat'ha (6.4%). Those five ports together accounted for 71.1% of the total merchandise imports of the Kingdom. — SPA