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Kingdom's imports exceeded SR400 billion mark in 2010.

Summary: RIYADH: The latest statistical figures supplied by the General Statistical Department showed that Saudi imports crossed the SR400 billion mark in 2010, registering a 12 percent increase compared to the previous year when imports were put at SR358 billion.

Electrical equipment worth SR99 billion topped the list of imported goods followed by automobiles and transportation machineries worth SR73 billion. The statistical report also noted that the lion's share of the imports came from 10 countries that exported goods worth SR249 billion, accounting for 62 percent of all imports to the Kingdom in 2010. The United States, China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, France, India, United Arab Emirates, Britain and Italy were the major exporters to the Kingdom. The situation, according to market observers, called for other import sources instead of depending on 10 countries for all supplies. The US topped the list of the exporters to the Kingdom with SR52 billion worth of goods while China came second with SR46.8 billion, followed by Germany with SR31 billion, according to a report in Al-Eqtisadiah, a sister publication of Arab News. While the Kingdom imported 700,000 cars at a total cost of SR51 billion in 2010, Japan topped the list of car exporters with 177,000 cars worth SR14 billion followed by the US with 159,000 cars at a cost of SR12.9 billion. South Korea and Thailand exported to the Kingdom 126,000 cars worth SR5.4 billion and 85,000 cars worth SR4.1 billion respectively. The figures showed that despite the decrease in the dollar value over the past years, Japan has been showing a steady rise in exporting cars to the Kingdom. It is mainly attributed to Japan's focus on four-wheelers suited for desert environments On the other hand, the cars imported from the US were suited for city use rather than deserts or long distances. It is also noted that Thailand is a strongly emerging competitor in the Saudi car market. The report also showed that the Kingdom imported food worth SR63 billion, accounting for 16 percent of all imports in 2010. Food imports experienced a 19 percent rise against 2009. While the import of medium commodities at a cost of SR170 billion accounted for 42 percent of all imports, SR138 billion worth of consumer goods accounted for 35 percent and capital goods worth SR91 billion accounted for 32 percent of imports in 2010. With imports worth SR22.3 billion, the Gulf countries occupied fourth position in terms of regions of export to the Kingdom, after Asia, Europe and North America. The United Arab Emirates exported SR4.7 billion worth of goods to the Kingdom, accounting for 64 percent of goods exported from GCC countries to the Kingdom. Asian countries excluding Arab and Islamic countries were the largest exporters to the Kingdom with goods worth SR126 billion accounting for 32 percent of all imports and it was SR14.8 billion more than the imports in the previous year. China with 37 percent topped the list of Asian exporters to the Kingdom followed by Japan (24 percent). European Union countries exported SR113 billion worth of goods at 28 percent followed by North American countries with SR58.2 billion worth of goods. The US took the lead position with 91 percent of goods from North American countries that exported goods to the Kingdom. Non-Arab Islamic countries were the fifth largest exporters with SR21.1 billion worth of goods accounting for 5 percent of the Kingdom's imports. Turkey (39 percent) topped these countries followed by Malaysia (21 percent). South American countries with SR16 billion worth of exports came at sixth position, accounting for 4 percent of the Saudi imports. Approximately 70 percent of South American products were imported from Brazil followed by Argentina (9 percent). Imports from European countries outside EU were estimated at SR16.7 billion, accounting for a little more than 4 percent of total imports. Sweden was the largest non-EU exporter to the Kingdom followed by Ukraine. Remaining countries in the world had a share of SR25.4 billion, accounting for 6 percent of the total imports of the Kingdom. Transportation machinery and equipment were imported for SR73.63 billion, representing 18 percent of total imports, while it was 18 percent higher than imports in the previous year. Imports of livestock and meat products in 2010 were worth SR16 billion. Metals and metal products were imported for SR49.52 billion, accounting for 12 percent of total imports. Chemical, plastic and rubber products were also imported for an identical amount. Imports of textiles were worth SR13.39 billion and optical and medical devices worth SR10.55 billion in the period. Stone, gypsum and cement products were imported for SR5.76 billion. Other goods worth SR36.35 billion were also imported during the year.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Oct 11, 2011
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