Oman’s trade balance during the first seven months of 2015 registered a surplus of OMR1,581.3 million, despite the decline of 31.7 per cent in exports during the period.
Merchandise exports, which include oil and gas, non-oil exports and re-exports registered a decline of 40 per cent, 7.1 per cent and 22.9 per cent, respectively, according to data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
The Sultanate’s trade balance during the first seven months of 2014 had registered a surplus of OMR5272.8 million.
According to NCSI’s data, foreign trade revenue fell to OMR8.66 billion from OMR11.80 billion last year.
Merchandise imports, on the other hand, posted a marginal fall of 0.7 per cent during the period toOMR6.48 billion, against OMR6.53 billion a year ago. However, imports rose 33 per cent in terms of quantity, which touched 15.54 million tonnes during the period.
Oil and gas exports suffered a 40 per cent drop to OMR4.77 billion, compared with OMR7.96 billion in the January to July period in the previous year.
Revenue from crude oil exports fell 41.4 per cent to OMR4.08 billion from OMR6.96 billion, while refined oil declined 39 per cent to OMR99.6 million from OMR163.2 million, a year ago.
Liquefied natural gas exports were slumped 28.9 per centto OMR591.7 million, from OMR832.4 million last year.
Non-oil exports also plunged 7.1 per cent to OMR1.92 billion from OMR2.06 billion last year. Minerals, along with plastic and rubber products, suffered the most with export revenues, falling by 15.9 per cent and 24.6 per cent, respectively, during the January to July period. Chemical products, however, saw a 4.7 per cent growth in exports.
Re-exports on the other hand declined by 22.9 per cent to OMR1.36 billion this year, as against OMR1.77 billion last year during the period.
The quantity of merchandise imports by sea recorded a growth of 37.7 per cent at 9.29 million tonnes amounting to OMR3.83 billion, while that by land touched 6.22 million tonnes, marking a growth of 26.6 per cent.
The value of imports by land grew 6.9 per cent to OMR2.04 billion. Imports by air witnessed a growth of 12 per cent in quantity reaching 30,400 tonnes, while the value of imports rose 21.5 per cent to reach OMR604.1 million during the period this year, compared with the previous year.