UAE’s general trade jumps to AED 346 bln in Q1-12

ABU DHABI: The UAE’s general trade volume (total volume of UAE non-oil foreign trade and trade of free zones) in the first quarter of 2012 recorded a 6.7% increase by AED 21,6 billion from AED 3.24.6 billion to AED 346,2 billion year on year, Preliminary statistical data released today by the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) showed.

The Federal Customs Authority (FCA), in a press release, said imports accounted for AED 219,9 billion of UAE total trade, while exports and re-exports represented AED 38 billion and AED 88,3 billion, respectively.

FCA said in a press statement yesterday that the total value of UAE non-oil foreign trade(the first contributor to the state’s general trade volume) rose to AED 238,4 billion in Q1-12, while the total FZ trade (the second contributor) increased to AED 107,8 billion in the same period.

The total value of FZ trade increased by 18% year-on-year to AED 107,8 billion in Q1-12, from AED 91,6 billion.

“FZ imports jumped by 16% from AED 55 billion to AED 63,6 billion in Q1-12. Exports hiked 50% from AED 2,5 billion to AED 3,7 billion. Re-exports for free zones climbed 19% from AED 34 billion to AED 40,5 billion,” FCA stated.

In terms of weight, the volume of markets and FZ trade in Q1-12 reached about 6,5 million tons, including 4,2 million tons of imports, 406 thousand tons of exports and 1,9 million tons of re-exports.

The Asia-Pacific countries came on top of the UAE’s trade partners with respect to the FZ trade volume in Q1-12. This region contributed 43%, or AED 45,2 billion of the total FZ trade volume, FCA added.

“The MENA region ranked second, representing 24%, or AED 24,5 billion of the free zones’ volume, followed by Europe (18%, or AED 18,4 billion), the Caribbean region (8%, recording AED 8,2 billion), East and South Africa region (3%, representing AED 3,4 billion) and West and Central Africa region (2%, or AED 1,6 billion).

The total FZ trade volume with the GCC countries significantly increased in terms of re-exports, compared to imports, which in turn reflects that the GCC countries represent one of the major export destinations to the UAE’s free zones.

The total FZ trade volume with the GCC countries in terms of value hit AED 13,8 billion in Q1-12 – with AED 2,4 billion imports, AED 11,1 billion re-exports and AED 259 million exports.

Saudi Arabia took the first spot among GCC region’s trading partners with a total value of AED 8 billion, or 58% of total trade. Kuwait came second (AED 2,4 billion, or 18%), followed by Qatar (AED 1,8 billion, or 13%), Oman (AED 892 million, or 6%) and Bahrain (AED 613 million, or 4%).

FCA also pointed out that the total foreign trade volume of the UAE with the Arab countries in terms of value rose remarkably in terms of re-exports, amounting to AED 25,1 billion in Q1-12 out of which AED 2.8 billion representing imports with AED 1,2 billion worth of imports, while exports from the free zones in the State to those countries amounted to AED 21.1 billion.

FCA confirmed that telephone sets took the first position among imports, with a value of AED 9 billion. It was followed by petroleum oils and processed mineral oils with AED 5,8 billion, then data processing devices, magnetic and optical readers (AED 4,8 billion), gold (AED 3,9 billion), cars (AED 2,3 billion), and diamond (AED 2,2 billion).

Cigar and cigarettes also took the first rank in the exports list with AED 766 million. Petroleum oils and processed mineral oils ranked second with AED 480 million. It was followed by structures and parts of structures (bridges, parts of bridges, gates, dams, towers, etc.) AED 124 million and cars (AED 100 million).

On the level of re-exports, telephone sets came first with a total value AED 8,7 billion, followed by petroleum oils and processed mineral oils with AED 4,8 billion, data processing devices, magnetic and optical readers (AED 3,4 billion), gold (AED 2,7 billion), diamond (AED 1,8 billion), monitors and projectors (AED 1,2 billion) and jewelry and ornaments (AED 1 billion).