01 September 2016

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


Saudi Arabian tyre market set to reach $2.12bn

THE Saudi Arabian tyre market is estimated to reach the value of $2.12 billion at the end of 2016, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8 per cent during 2016-2026, a report said.

The report titled “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Market Study on Tire: Industry Analysis and Forecast, 2016–2026” by Persistence Market Research, revealed that the market trend is expected owing to the favourable government regulations and rising demand for passenger cars in the country.

The lack of luxury or value-added tax on the purchase of commodities in the region is a major driver as increasing number of people are opting for cars, including passenger cars as well as luxury cars due to high temperatures recorded round the year, said the report.

Consumer preference towards original equipment manufacturer (OEM) channels is expected to boost sales. On the other hand, stringent regulations in regard to used tyres and import standards by the Saudi Arabia Standard Organization (SASO) is expected to be a major restraint in the market, it added.

The four wheeler segment is projected to continue leading the market through the forecast period. The passenger car sub-segment is the most prominent sub-segment in the market and is expected to continue the market trend, accounting for over $1.43 billion at the end of 2016, added the report.


Gulf fertiliser output to hit 43mt by 2021

FERTILISER production in the Gulf is set to expand to 43.1 million tonnes (mt) in the next five years, according to a new report by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).

At 37.8 million tonnes, the GCC’s current fertiliser capacity earns $6.3 billion in sales revenue, according to the GPCA’s 2015 Fertiliser Indicators report. Additionally, capacity for this commodity has nearly doubled since 2005 due to strong demand from export markets, resulting in closer trade relationships with diverse markets such as India, the US and Brazil, it said.

“Since 2005, the GCC has been the epicentre of a dynamic fertiliser industry, whose growth has been driven by increased demand for food, growing access to feedstock and the rise in global population,” said Dr Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, secretary general, GPCA.

With a production capacity of 16.7 million tonnes and 9.8 million tonnes respectively, Saudi Arabia and Qatar lead fertiliser production in the region, said the report. 

However, relatively flat demand from local and global markets for fertilisers, coupled with macroeconomic volatility, challenges remain for regional producers, it said.

Dr Al Sadoun said: “There is no doubt that GCC fertiliser producers are encountering aggressive competition from producers with access to cheap feedstock as a result of the development of the shale gas in the US and coal based industries in China.”


Brazilian imports from Arab states hit $2.6bn

THE Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) has revealed that Brazilian imports from the Arab World amounted to a total of $2.6 billion during the first half of 2016.

The positive statistics reflect the strong trade relations between the countries which serves as further encouragement for more bilateral exploration of potential business ties in the near future, said a statement from ABCC.

Out of all the Arab countries, Oman registered the most growth in Brazil in first half of 2016 at 37.40 per cent while the UAE followed at 5.04 per cent increase over the same period in 2015, it said. Saudi Arabia led with the highest percentage and amount exported at 24.68 per cent totalling $658 million, Qatar second at 14.25 per cent with $379 million, followed by the UAE at 9.40 per cent with 250.63 million, Kuwait at 6.72 per cent totalling $179.30 million; Oman at 2.14 per cent reaching $56.95 million, and Egypt with 0.71 per cent at $18.88 million, it added.

The majority of the Arab World’s imports are still composed of oil and mineral fuel which makes up 67 per cent of the total amount at $1.8 billion. This is followed by fertilisers at 21.88 per cent with $583 million; organic chemicals at 1.59 per cent amounting to $42.14 million; plastic at 1.51 per cent reaching $40.14 million; and salt, sulphur, earth and stone at 1.50 per reaching $40.01 million, said a statement.

Dr Michel Alaby, secretary general and CEO of ABCC, said: “These numbers reflect the thriving economic ties between Brazil and the Arab World.”


Qatar-US trade value up 46 per cent in H1

THE value of Qatar-US bilateral trade, in goods, during the first half of this year jumped to QR15.58 billion ($4.28 billion), a growth of over 46 per cent compared to QR10.66 billion ($2.93 billion) for the corresponding period last year, a report said.

The US trade surplus with Qatar (which represents the difference between exports and imports of goods) for the period has registered a triple-digit growth of 133 per cent reaching QR10.96 billion ($3.01 billion) from QR4.70 billion ($1.29 billion) for the same period last year, added the Peninsula Qatar report, citing data at the US Census Bureau.

The US exports to Qatar during the period (Jan-June 2016) stood at $3.65 billion (QR13.29 billion), showing a sharp increase of about 73 per cent against $2.11 billion (QR7.68 billion) recorded for the corresponding period last year, it said.

The value of US imports from Qatar during the period declined by 22.49 per cent to $636.3 million compared to $821 million registered during the same period last year, added the report.


Bahrain industrial real estate on growth track

THE design and construction of industrial and warehouse properties in Bahrain are continuing to display growing sophistication, according to a report from CBRE, a global real estate consultancy firm.

According to government statistics, Bahrain’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Tourism (MOICT) operates eight industrial zones across the Kingdom, totalling over 22 million sq m, the consultancy noted in its Industrial Real Estate Sector – MarketFlash. Over the last decade, purpose built, as well as, speculative industrial parks and storage facilities, which provide security, services and infrastructure – more conducive to occupiers operations – have raised the bar for this asset class.

Prior to this, options were limited, in terms of facilities provided and lacked appeal for international firms looking to invest in Bahrain. The traditional industrial locations, such as Sitra and Ma’ameer, now face strong competition from gated and serviced industrial parks, particularly for those in Hidd, which are strategically located near land and sea ports.

Demand for pre-built high specification units, is driving development in the sector, with investors and occupiers seeking space with provisions that add value to operations and reduces capital expenditure.

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