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Saudi exports fall 10% on oil output cuts

Drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia's Hasbah field. The country's GDP contracted by 0.8% in 2023 Aramco
Drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia's Hasbah field. The country's GDP contracted by 0.8% in 2023
  • Economy hit by Opec+ moves
  • Slight rise in non-oil exports
  • Giga-project delays expected

Saudi Arabia’s exports fell by more than 10 percent in January compared to the previous year due to a reduction in oil exports. 

The Saudi economy has taken a hit from Opec+ oil output cuts over the past year, although non-oil exports rose slightly by 0.8 percent. 

Riyadh promoted the cuts in an effort to shore up global oil prices, leading to a GDP contraction in 2023 of 0.8 percent. 

The giga-projects at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s massive economic transformation plans could suffer delays, the government said in December, with budget deficits forecast for the next three years. 

The General Authority for Statistics said non-oil exports’ share of the total SAR95 billion ($25 billion) in exports rose from 22.4 percent to 25.2 percent during the period, rising in absolute terms by 0.8 percent. These figures include re-exports. 

The government says the non-oil economy accounted for 50 percent of real GDP in 2023 for the first time. 

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund raised its 2025 forecast for Saudi GDP growth by 1.3 points to 5.5 percent, describing the non-oil economy as robust. 

China continues to be Saudi Arabia’s biggest export market, accounting for 15 percent of total exports, followed by South Korea and Japan. 

The main non-oil export goods were plastics, rubber and chemical industry goods.

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