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Exploring Saudi Arabia’s Key Exports and Imports: A Comprehensive Overview

BusinessExploring Saudi Arabia's Key Exports and Imports: A Comprehensive Overview

Saudi Arabia, one of the Middle East’s wealthiest and most prosperous countries, is a significant source of oil reserves for the world. It is one of the Middle East’s most powerful countries because of its control over these oil reserves, military capability, and the sheer enormity of its land in the Arabian Peninsula. Today, we look at one of the most critical components of the KSA’s wealth: exports and imports. 

Saudi Arabia’s main exports

1. Crude Oil 

Saudi Arabia’s total export revenue is approximately $182 billion, mostly from crude oil exports. To be precise, crude oil is most of Saudi Arabia’s GDP and 70% of the KSA’s export revenue. Having control of 18% of the world’s oil reserves, Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest exporter of this precious commodity. According to statistics provided by OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), the KSA produces an average of 10.3 million barrels of crude oil per day, out of which 7.4 million barrels get exported every day. Isn’t that amazing? The leading importers of Saudi Arabia’s oil are:

China, taking up 13.6%   

Japan, taking up 11.3% 

India, taking up 10.7%

The United States takes up 9.1%,

and Singapore takes up 4.7% of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports. 

2. Refined Petroleum 

Some crude oil Saudi Arabia produces is turned into refined petroleum products such as diesel, fuel oil, and gasoline. These products are exported to other countries and used in the KSA for domestic use. Saudi Arabia is among the world’s top 15% exporters of refined petroleum products. Saudi Arabia’s advanced petroleum product exports amount to $26.2 billion, making up 3.3% of worldwide petroleum exports. The KSA’s refined petroleum exports are significantly less than their crude oil imports. This may be because most of the advanced petroleum products Saudi Arabia produces are utilized for domestic purposes. 

3. Propylene Polymers

Propylene polymers are thermostatic polymers used in various applications, such as in clothing and medical purposes. The central countries that Saudi Arabia exports propylene polymers to are China and Turkey. In 2018, the revenue generated from Saudi Arabia’s export of propylene polymers to Turkey was $853 million, and that to China was $379 million. It is interesting to note that propylene polymers are the 84th most traded commodities globally, and the KSA is at the top of the list of its exporters. Other significant importers of Saudi Arabia’s propylene polymers include UAE, Kuwait, Singapore, India, Italy, Mexico, Germany, and Egypt. 

Saudi Arabia’s Main Imports

1. Vehicles

Vehicles are one of Saudi Arabia’s major import commodities. In 2018, Saudi Arabia received 440,992 units of vehicle imports despite a fall of 20.5% in vehicle imports. The KSA imports everything from practical four-wheelers for the desert to luxury sedans to drive around the country’s fabulous streets in style and special vehicles for the disabled members of society.

Read: What does buying a car in Saudi Arabia look like?

2. Pharmaceuticals 

The KSA spent $5.53 billion on pharmaceutical imports in 2018. The KSA accounts for 59% of the Middle East’s pharmaceutical imports. Their import of pharmaceuticals is expected to grow to $8.5 billion by 2023. The KSA can only produce 30% of the pharmaceutical products required by the country locally, and their growing population is one of the reasons for their high need for pharmaceutical imports. The KSA’s vision is to develop its life sciences and pharmaceutical industries by 2030. 

Saudi Arabia has contributed immensely to supplying crucial oils around the world. 

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