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Red Sea crisis

An agricultural engineer checks green peppers on a farm in Jordan. Vegetables and fertilisers are among its main exports

Jordan’s exports rise 15% in Q1 despite regional unrest

Jordan’s exports increased by more than 15 percent in the first quarter of the year despite the conflict between Israel and Hamas and the disruptions to maritime trade in the Red Sea. The country recorded “remarkable” growth in export value from January to March, according to the Amman Chamber of Industry.  Export value rose to […]

A container vessel passes through the Suez Canal. Global supply chain volatility is falling, according to the latest data

Transportation costs fall as Suez disruption eases

Global transportation costs fell last month to their lowest level since December as the diminishing impact of Suez Canal disruption led container rates to decline.  Latest data shows no discernible impact on supplies from either the Red Sea attacks or from reduced capacity on the Panama Canal, with businesses adjusting to longer delivery schedules. The […]

Saudi ports Jeddah

Volumes up at Saudi ports in spite of Red Sea attacks

Container volumes at Saudi Arabia’s ports were up last month compared to March 2023 despite continuing attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, data from the kingdom’s ports authority shows. The Saudi Ports Authority, known as Mawani, oversees 10 ports. These include facilities in Jeddah, Yanbu and Jazan on the country’s Red Sea coast, and […]

The impact on shipping through the Suez Canal has been less severe than feared, says the WTO

Middle East exports to rebound as Red Sea fears ease

Middle East goods export volumes, which include oil and gas, will expand 3.5 percent this year, the World Trade Organization predicts, adding that disruptions to Red Sea maritime trade are proving less severe than feared. The WTO’s Global Trade Outlook and Statistics report, published on Wednesday, says this expected increase contrasts with a 1.6 percent […]

Vitol expects global growth of 1.9 million bpd this year, driven by China, India and increased air travel boosting demand for jet fuel

Oil price to hit $100 if Opec+ cuts continue says Vitol chief

Crude prices are likely to reach $100 per barrel in 2024 if Opec+ maintains its output cuts, a global commodity trader has said. The supply-constrained market has already reached an average price of $83 per barrel this year, S&P Global Commodity Insights reported, quoting Vitol CEO Russell Hardy’s speech on Tuesday at a summit in […]

UAE Red Sea Houthi helicopter

Red Sea disruptions hit UAE business activity

Backlogs of work in the UAE are at their highest levels in 15 years because of supply chain disruptions caused by the Red Sea shipping crisis. As a result growth in the country’s non-oil business sector eased slightly in March, the seasonally adjusted S&P Global UAE purchasing managers’ index shows. The latest PMI dropped marginally […]

An employee inspects a well head in the Yarakta oil field in Siberia. Russia's oil output has been hit by Ukrainian drone attacks on facilities

Oil prices rise again ahead of Opec+ talks on Wednesday

Crude oil prices consolidated on Monday, following a run of increases in the first quarter, fuelled by signs of recovery in China, tighter supplies by the Opec+ producers and geopolitical tensions. Brent was trading slightly higher at $87.28 a barrel in the morning, while West Texas Intermediate rose to $83.45. Brent has gained about 15 […]

A US M1A2 Abrams tank on exercises. Bahrain's order for 50 tanks has been approved by the US State Department

US approves $2bn military order for Bahrain

The US has approved a $2 billion order from Bahrain for advanced battle tanks and other military equipment as the kingdom continues to ramp up its defence spending. Although the deal is still to be ratified by Congress, the US State Department revealed it is ready to sell 50 M1A2 Abrams tanks to Bahrain, which […]

People, Person, Adult

Saudi Arabia gives $800m in Ramadan social security aid

Saudi Arabia has disbursed SAR3 billion ($800 million) to around 500,000 Saudis as a one-off social security payment during the fasting month of Ramadan.  The amounts were deposited directly into bank accounts of beneficiaries of social security by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, on the basis of SAR1,000 ($270) per head of […]

The IEA predicted that world oil demand will grow by 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2024, but down from growth of 2.3 million bpd in 2023

IEA predicts oil supply will turn to deficit in 2024

Global crude markets supplies will shift from surplus into deficit in 2024, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted, implying higher hydrocarbon prices. The Paris-based watchdog raised its forecast for this year’s oil demand on Thursday on an improved outlook for the US economy and increased bunker fuel use, as attacks by the Houthis on […]

Person, Shopping, Adult A Saudi woman shops for Ramadan decorations to mark the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan in a local market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 22, 2023. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Saudi Arabia’s inflation up to 1.8% and ‘likely’ to keep rising

Saudi Arabia’s annual inflation rate rose more than expected in February to 1.8 percent, driven by the housing market, as the country emerges from last year’s economic slowdown.  “Actual rents for housing increased by 10 percent in February 2024, reflecting the increase in rents for villas by 9.1 percent,” the General Authority for Statistics said. […]

AlUla Old Town. The heritage site is one of Saudi Arabia's flagship tourism projects

Volatility of crude markets masks Saudi non-oil momentum

Volatility in global oil markets, which led to Saudi Arabia’s GDP shrinking last year, is masking the strength of the kingdom’s non-oil economy, analysts have said.  Its non-oil revenue is forecast to rise by more than 5 percent in each of the next two years, according to Jadwa Investment. The 2023 contraction was driven by […]

Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, was speaking at the Marlog marine infrastructure conference in Alexandria

Egypt plans extension to make Suez Canal a ‘dual carriageway’

Egypt is to extend the “dual carriageway” segment of the Suez Canal, to allow northbound ships and southbound ships to travel the full length of the canal simultaneously. The canal’s first double-channel stretch opened in 2015. This extension will add 50km in the north and 30km in the south, the chairman of the Suez Canal […]

Asked about reports the IMF loan could rise to $12bn, managing director Kristalina Georgieva said: 'There is nothing wrong in thinking big'

IMF expects bigger loan deal for Egypt within weeks

The International Monetary Fund expects a financing package for Egypt to be finalised within weeks, its chief said on Tuesday – while also entertaining speculation that the loan could rise to $12 billion. Speaking on the sidelines of a G20 finance meeting in Brazil, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva told Reuters that issues delaying the […]

A worker on a construction site in Riyadh. Foreign companies with offices in Saudi Arabia have adapted to supply chain disruptions

Localisation shields Saudi builders from Red Sea crisis

Houthi attacks in the Red Sea may have been disrupting the construction supply chain into Saudi Arabia but companies, in particular larger ones, are adapting to the challenge.  Since November, the Yemeni militia has launched dozens of attacks on commercial vessels on their way to or from the Suez Canal, forcing many global shippers to […]

red sea shipping crisis gcc

GCC companies safeguard stocks against Red Sea crisis

Businesses in the GCC are adding up to three months to their supply chains as disruption in the Red Sea persists. Despite the increased costs, a survey of executives from the region revealed companies are maintaining “substantial extra inventory” in the face of the current geopolitical uncertainties. The fourth annual Trade in Transition study by […]

Gulf companies are increasingly considering trucking as a freight option because of disruption to Red Sea shipping routes

Gulf turns to trucking to bypass Red Sea unrest

The Gulf trucking industry is preparing for a surge in business as companies seek alternatives to shipping goods while Red Sea risks persist. Trukker, a UAE-based app that is touted as the Middle East’s Uber for land freight, told AGBI that enquiries from clients interested in using its truck booking and other freight forwarding services […]

The global economy has shown 'real resilience' said OECD secretary-general Mathias Cormann

OECD predicts modest growth but conflict risk remains

Global growth is holding up and inflation is falling, but conflict in the Middle East represents a significant near-term risk, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has said. In its interim outlook published on Monday, the Paris-based organisation projected that GDP expansion worldwide would remain moderate at around 3 percent in 2024-2025. Energy […]

UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan meets with Jordan's King Hussein in Amman

AD Ports deal to transform Jordan’s Aqaba

Abu Dhabi is to play a key role in transforming operations at Aqaba Port, Jordan’s primary trade hub.  A joint venture company comprising a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports Group and the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) aims to “revolutionise” the port by digitalising operations within a year. The UAE wants to build on bilateral trade […]