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Oman: In November 2023, Oman’s trade balance showcased a notable surplus. According to data from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the surplus amounted to 6.9 billion Omani rials, translating to approximately $17.9 billion.

This surplus, while slightly lower than the previous year’s 9.5 billion rials, signifies a resilient trade position for the nation. Despite this surplus, the overall value of merchandise exports experienced a notable decline, totaling 20.6 billion rials in November 2023, marking an 11.4% decrease from the previous year’s figures. Conversely, the value of merchandise imports showed a marginal decrease, totalling 13.6 billion rials, down by 0.5% compared to November 2022.

The significant decline in export value in November 2023 was primarily due to a sharp decrease in oil and gas exports, which fell to 12.5 billion rials, marking a 17.7% drop from the same period in 2022. Crude exports constituted a substantial portion, amounting to approximately 8.9 billion rials by the end of November 2023, reflecting a 17.3% decrease compared to the previous year. Similarly, refined oil exports and liquefied natural gas exports witnessed declines of 23.5% and 15.7%, respectively, further contributing to the overall export value decrease.

Non-oil merchandise exports also saw a slight decline, amounting to 6.7 billion rials, down by 1.4% from the previous year. Among non-oil commodity exports, mineral products emerged as the highest contributor in terms of value, reaching 2.4 billion rials, showcasing a notable 20.3% increase. However, other key sectors such as ordinary metals and chemical industry products experienced decreases in export value.

Meanwhile, re-exports showed a positive trajectory, reaching 1.3 billion rials by the end of November 2023, reflecting an 11.1% increase from November 2022.

Imports balance

Regarding imports, metal products remained the highest-imported category, totaling 3.8 billion rials in November 2023, with a slight annual decrease of 4.6%. Conversely, machinery, appliances, electrical equipment, and their parts witnessed a notable increase in import value, amounting to 2 billion rials and showcasing a 7.5% annual growth.

Moreover, Oman’s trade partners played a significant role in shaping its trade dynamics. Saudi Arabia emerged as a key player in non-oil export transactions with Oman, reaching approximately 981 million rials by the end of November 2023, signifying a substantial increase of 29.7% from November 2022. On the other hand, the UAE led in re-export transactions from Oman, with a value of 465 million rials by the end of November 2023. Additionally, the UAE remained the top country exporting to Oman, despite a slight decrease of 8.6% from November 2022, with a total value of 3.6 billion rials.