UAE non-oil foreign trade drops nearly 5 per cent in 2015

20 April 2016

Slower growth projected for the UAE economy

The UAE’s non-oil total trade volume for the full year 2015 declined by 4.85 per cent to reach approximately AED1.56 trillion ($424bn)

Imports accounted for 61 per cent in 2015, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM) citing data from the Federal Customs Authority (FCA).

Top imported goods include native gold and semi-processed gold (10 per cent), followed closely by mobile phones (9.8 per cent), vehicles (6 percent), and non-composite diamonds, ornaments, jewellery and precious metals (8 per cent). Together the value of native and semi-processed gold, diamonds, and jewellery and semi-precious stones accounted for AED173bn of the country’s total imports.

Compared to 2014, the value of exports in 2015 rose by 17 per cent to reach AED185.4bn

Gold accounted for 30 per cent of the total non-oil exports, followed by ornaments and jewellery (10 per cent). The other key export products include raw aluminium (9 per cent), cigarettes (4 per cent) and ethylene polymers in primary forms (3 per cent).

Mobile phones are the country’s most re-exported product, accounting for 18 per cent of the total re-export value of AED418.7b. Other top re-exported products reflect the order of priority for imported goods: non-composite diamond, vehicles and ornaments and jewelleries, which account for 12 per cent, 7 per cent and 6 per cent of the total, respectively.

The IMF has projected a slower growth for the UAE economy in 2016, with real GDP estimated to grow by 2.37 per cent compared with 3.9 per cent in 2015. The IMF said it also expects the country to register its first current account deficit this year in 37 years.


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