An analytical study released by the Ministry of Foreign Trade on Saturday has revealed that UAE exports of plastics grew by 127 per cent ($2.2 billion) from H1 2011 to H1 2012 - a figure that is 8 times larger than the growth rate achieved during the whole of 2011.
The study added that the UAE's foreign trade of plastics grew by 48 per cent in the first six months of 2012 in comparison with the same period in 2011, increasing from $ 2.9 billion to $4.4 billion respectively - with plastics exports being the main driver of growth during that period.
The study, which was conducted by MoFT Economic Advisor Dr. Abdel Hamid Radwan under the supervision of Dr. Mattar Ahmad, Director of the Analysis and Trade Information Department at the Ministry, pointed out that the UAE came 3rd globally in the re-export of plastics in 2011, re-exporting a total of $444 million worth of the product - constituting a 3 percent share of the world's re-exports of plastics.
During the same year, Hong Kong came in first place globally in this regard, re-exporting 81 percent of the world's plastics (worth $13.3bn), most of which headed to China.
Regionally, the study stated that the UAE produces 25 percent of all plastics produced within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), pointing out that it has over 600 plastics factories spread out across the country's seven Emirates, with "Borouge" being the largest and most advanced plastics company in the country - expected to be able to solely produce 2.5 million tonnes of plastics in 2014 from the current capacity of just over 2 billion tonnes.
According to the study's findings, the UAE enjoys an evenly spread out plastics export structure that doesn't suffer the risks usually associated with exporting to specific geographic concentrations. It pointed out that 41 countries receive UAE exports of plastics worth over $10 million each, with India coming in first place in this regard, receiving $195 million worth of the product from the UAE (11 percent of the UAE's overall plastics exports) followed by China, which received $149 million (8 per cent).
The study also pointed out that the UAE's imports of plastics reached $3.4 billion in 2011, up by 17.2 per cent from 2010. The growth in imports increased in 2011 in continuation of the growth rate attained in 2010 (16.9 per cent), recuperating from the negative ramifications of 2009. Saudi Arabia was the UAE's number one supplier of plastics ($682 million/20 per cent of the country's total plastics imports) in 2011, followed by China in second place supplying $419 million and constituting a 12 per cent share.
With regards to re-exports, the study revealed that the UAE's re-exports of plastics grew by 8 per cent from 2010 - 2011 ($444 million) and that it is continuing to witness more growth. It pointed out that three countries received a third of the UAE's re-exports of plastics, with Iran coming in first place ($106 million - 24 per cent of the UAE's total plastics re-exports), followed by Tanzania ($21 million - 5 per cent) and Afghanistan ($19 million - 4 per cent).
The study also pointed out that the value of the UAE's re-exports to China was only $7 million, which is small amount when compared with the South East Asian country's total imports of the product, around $70 billion last year, which calls for more efforts to be exerted through fairs and during bilateral meetings to increase the country's plastics re-exports and exports.
It also revealed that the global trade of plastics exceeded the $1 trillion mark in 2011, reaching a total of $1.11 trillion, with imports and exports owning around a 50 per cent share each.
China alone owns a 10.4 per cent share ($115.6 billion) of the world's plastics trade, followed by Germany ($105.6bn) and the United States of America ($100bn), with all three combined being responsible for a third of the world's plastics trade.