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

An agricultural engineer checks green peppers on a farm in Jordan. Vegetables and fertilisers are among its main exports Reuters/Jehad Shelbak
An agricultural engineer checks green peppers on a farm in Jordan. Vegetables and fertilisers are among its main exports
  • Export value hit $464m in first quarter
  • Iraq was the country’s top customer
  • WTO predicting rise in Gulf exports

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 329 million dinars ($464 million) in the first quarter of 2024, from 284 million dinars in the same period last year, the chamber said. 

Jordan’s main exports are textiles, potassium, phosphates, fertilisers, vegetables and pharmaceutical products, according to the Trading Economics website. 

More than 5,700 Jordanian certificates of origin were issued in the first quarter, down 7 percent on the same period last year. These certificates are used to authenticate goods and are issued on request for exports.

Saudi Arabia received the highest number of certificates with 901, followed by the UAE with 636.

In terms of export value, Iraq was Jordan’s biggest customer in Q1 with 161 million dinars of goods. It was followed by Switzerland (32 million dinars), Egypt (25 million dinars) and the UAE (24.7 million dinars). Exports to Saudi Arabia totalled 14 million dinars.

Export volumes from the Middle East are expected to expand by 3.5 percent this year, according to the World Trade Organization.

The WTO’s Global Trade Outlook and Statistics report, published last week, said its 2024 prediction followed a 1.6 percent decline in Middle East goods exports in 2023. It was the third annual contraction in four years, although the decreases in 2020 and 2021 were related to the pandemic.

About 15 percent of global trade passes through the Red Sea and 12 percent through the Suez Canal’s northern exit, according to the WTO.

However, the trade organisation believes the impact of Houthi rebels’ attacks on shipping in the Red Sea “may be more limited than initially feared”.

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