01 July 2016

Gulf Industry magazine helps you catch up with the numbers behind economic and industrial developments in the region.


Brazil imports more fertilisers from region

THE Arab region has witnessed an unprecedented rise in fertiliser exports to Brazil during the first four months of this year with the total touching 1.14 million tonnes, an increase of 69 per cent from the 675,000 tonnes recorded in January to April in 2015.

In April alone, fertiliser imports soared by 70 per cent, from 215,500 tonnes traded in April 2015 to 364,400 tonnes, it said.

Brazil has produced a total of 2.7 million tonnes of fertilisers from January this year till April and has imported a total of 5.65 million tonnes – up by 3.5 per cent – from 5.46 million, compared to its imports during the same period last year, it added.

Dr Michel Alaby, secretary general and chief executive of the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC), said: “Fertilisers enjoy the second largest import from the Arab World to Brazil, next to minerals and oil.”


GCC non-oil trade with US $41.7bn

THE volume of non-oil trade between the GCC and the US, in the first nine months of 2015, amounted to $41.7 billion, a rise of 2.8 per cent as compared to the same period in 2014, which stood at $40.6 billion.

The total value of non-oil exports of the GCC countries to the US in the first nine months of 2015 amounted to $4.8 billion compared to $4 billion during the same period of 2014, an increase of 18.7 per cent, said a Wam report, citing Oman News Agency.

It said the GCC Statistical Centre (GCC Stat) annual report showed that the total merchandise imports of the GCC countries from the US in the first nine months of 2015 amounted to $36.9 billion, an increase of 1 per cent compared with the same period in 2014, which amounted to $36.5 billion. These merchandise imports accounted for 11.9 per cent of total imports of the GCC during the same period in 2015.

Additionally, the report noted that Saudi Arabia was ranked as the most important trading partner of the GCC countries for the volume of non-oil trade with the US for the first nine months of 2015, with $17.4 billion, which is 41.8 per cent of the total volume of non-oil trade of the GCC countries with the US over that period.

The UAE was the largest GCC exporting market to the US in the first nine months of 2015, where its exports reached $1.9 billion, or 40 per cent of the total GCC non-oil merchandise exports with the US, as against the same period last year.

The report indicated that the aluminium group and its products ranked first among the non-oil merchandise exports of the GCC countries to the US in the first nine months of 2015, where its contribution accounted for nearly 20.9 per cent of the total non-oil merchandise of GCC countries during the same period the previous year. The devices group and machine tools ranked first for merchandise imports from the US in the first nine months in 2015, amounting to $10.1 billion.

This merchandise group accounted for 27.4 per cent of the total imports of the GCC commodities from the US in the same period in 2015, added the report.


Qatar air conditioning market looks up

THE air conditioning market in Qatar is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.7 per cent during 2016 to 2021, according to a new report by TechSci Research, a research-based global management consulting firm.

The demand growth is backed by increasing construction activities being undertaken on account of upcoming Fifa World Cup to be held in Qatar in 2022, coupled with an increasing number of commercial and residential buildings as well as government mandating use of energy-efficient air conditioners in the country, it said.

Two major end user segments of air conditioners in Qatar are residential and commercial, with major demand for air conditioners emanating from the residential sector. However, on the back of increasing construction activities in commercial sector for developing infrastructure to accommodate the huge anticipated inflow of visitors in Qatar during the Fifa World Cup, the share of residential sector is expected to witness a slight decline during the forecast period, said the report.

LG, Gree, Daikin, Samsung and Carrier are few of the leading companies operating in Qatar’s air conditioning market in 2015, the report stated.

In terms of product category, split air conditioners are expected to continue their dominance in the country›s air conditioners market through 2021, the report said. 


UAE salaries to climb 4.6pc next year

WAGES in the United Arab Emirates are set to rise by an average of 4.6 per cent in 2017, following an average increase of 4.9 per cent this year, according to Willis Towers Watson’s latest Salary Budget Planning Study.

The inflation rate in the UAE in the past two years has been an average of 4 per cent; however, there has been an increase in the pay for employees across all industry sectors. In 2017, the salary has been projected to increase by 4.6 per cent in the region, in countries such as UAE and Bahrain, while Lebanon will have the highest increase in pay growth (5.4 per cent), followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (5.0 per cent), Qatar (4.8 per cent).

Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the report highlights countries where real pay differs significantly to the regional average. Lebanon has the highest pay increase at 7.1 per cent, whilst Zambia has the lowest at -13.6 per cent.  For Central and Eastern Europe, Poland is highest with a 3.1 per cent real-pay increase projected for 2016 and at the other end of the spectrum is Kazakhstan at -5.1 per cent.

On a global level the report shows employees in Asian countries are predicted to benefit from some of the highest pay rises with a regional average real-pay increase of 3.8 per cent, followed by EMEA at 1.9 per cent and Latin America at 1.8 per cent. North America has some of the lowest projected increases at an average of 1.6 per cent.


Opec revenue seen down for third year

THE Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec)’ full-year 2016 oil export revenues will probably fall 15 per cent, down for the third straight year and possibly the lowest in more than a decade before rising in 2017, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

Members of Opec, including Iran, will likely earn about $341 billion in 2016, about 15 per cent below 2015 levels, based on projections of global oil prices and the group›s production levels, the US government’s EIA said in a report.

The last time Opec›s export revenues fell for three years straight was 1983-86.

At the projected level, Opec›s 2016 export earnings would be the lowest since 2004, when it earned about $295 billion.

For 2017, Opec revenues are projected to be $427 billion, due to an expected increase in crude oil prices, higher Opec production and stronger exports, EIA said.

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