Japan remains largest market for GCC exports

Japan maintained its position as the largest global market for oil and other exports from Gulf hydrocarbon producers, accounting for nearly 10 per cent of the group’s total exports in 2011, according to official data.

China, formerly a negligible trade partner of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), emerged as the second largest importer of GCC products, followed by the European Union (EU) and the United States.

Total oil, gas and other exports by the 32-year-old alliance jumped by about 40 per cent to nearly $928 billion in 20 11 from around $663 billion in 2010 as a result of a surge in crude prices to more than $105 a barrel from less than $70 in 2010.

Exports to Japan peaked at around $96.5 billion in 2011 while exports to China stood at around $57.3 billion and those to the EU and the US at $44.6 billion and $42.5 billion respectively, according to the Doha-based Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting.

GOIC, which advises on non-oil manufacturing policies in the GCC, gave no figures for 2012 but the GCC’s exports are expected to have hit another record due to higher oil prices, which averaged just above $110 a barrel.

Japan is the world’s largest importer of Gulf oil, receiving more than two thirds of its total  crude imports from the region. It is also one of the largest exporters to the GCC the massive crude sales have kept the trade balance largely in favour of the GCC.

In contrast, the balance has remained in favour of the EU given the GCC’s relatively low oil sales to Europe and the EU’s high exports to the region.

Besides oil and gas, the GCC exports petrochemicals, other petroleum products, cement, aluminum and other light products.

The report showed the GCC’s non-oil exports stood at around $246 billion in 2011 compared with nearly $201 billion in 2010.

Cumulative non-oil exports surged to around $963 billion during 2007-2011 from about $553 billion during 2002-2006, an increase of 135 per cent.

 

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