March 2019

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

Dubai’s non-oil growth strengthens in January

OVERALL growth of Dubai’s non-oil private sector economy quickened in January, according to the latest Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker, a composite indicator designed to give an accurate overview of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy.

Moreover, firms were at their most optimistic regarding future growth prospects since at least 2012. Total activity and new business both rose at marked rates despite only a slight increase in employment, suggesting companies were focusing on efforts to boost productivity.

The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index – improved to 55.8 in January, from 53.7 in December. The latest figure signalled the strongest overall improvement in the business climate since last June. It was above both the trends for 2018 as a whole (55.0) and the long-run series history (55.2, since January 2010).

Of the three key sectors monitored, wholesale & retail (56.3) posted the strongest overall improvement in business conditions at the start of 2018, followed by travel & tourism (54.1). The headline index for the construction industry posted 53.8, little-changed from December’s nine-month low but still signalling solid overall growth.


Brazil exports to Arab countries reach $1.19bn

BRAZIL’S exports to the Arab countries reached $1.194 billion for January 2019, according to the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC).

The bulk of the exported 4, 270.70 tonnes of total goods going to the Omani market at 1,578.87 tonnes, 76 per cent of the Brazilian exports to Oman were iron ores, said a statement from ABCC. The latest figures released by ABCC showed that the Brazilian exports to the Middle East, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Oman continued their ascent at the start of 2019 amid robust bilateral relations among these nations, it said.

The UAE imported goods from Brazil worth $344.53 million at 273.08 tonnes for the first month of the year, while the imports of neighbouring Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman reached $157.20 million (305.80 tonnes); $14.22 million (169.04 tonnes); and $91.78 million (1,578.87 tonnes), respectively.

The value of goods exported to Egypt amounted to $146.61 million (510.61 tonnes) during the same period.  


Global ammonia capacity to grow 20pc

GLOBAL ammonia capacity is poised to see a growth of 20 per cent over the next five years, according to a report by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The capacity will potentially increase from 233.85 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in 2018 to 280.36 mtpa in 2023, it said.

The company’s report, ‘Global Ammonia Industry Outlook to 2023 – Capacity and Capital Expenditure Forecasts with Details of All Active and Planned Plants’ reveals that around 99 planned and announced plants are scheduled to come online, predominantly in Asia and the Middle East, over the next five years. Ammonia capacity in Asia is expected to increase from 109.65 mtpa in 2018 to 123.22 mtpa in 2023, at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 2.3 per cent.

Among the countries in the region, China’s capacity will reach 74.99 mtpa by 2023. Major capacity addition will be from the plant, Shandong Lianmeng Chemical Group Shouguang Ammonia Plant, with a capacity of 1.65 mtpa by 2023.

Within the Middle East, ammonia capacity is expected to increase from 20.12 mtpa in 2018 to 30.05 mtpa in 2023, at an AAGR of 8.0 per cent. Among countries, Iran’s capacity will reach 13.12 mtpa by 2023. Major capacity contribution will be from the plant, FALAT RCF GSFC JV Chabahar Ammonia Plant, with a capacity of 1.05 mtpa by 2023.


Individual firms grow by 16pc in Saudi Arabia

THE Saudi Arabian Ministry of Commerce and Investment has revealed that the total number of individual firms grew by 16 per cent in 2018 to 945,278, while the limited liability companies (LLCs) increased by 11.4 per cent to 109,036 companies, said a report.

The Rate of the growth falls in line with the reforms and improvements introduced by the ministry and the business sector undergone during the past period, as it took advantage of procedures to facilitate the start of business activity, which the ministry has worked to bring about, in cooperation with a number of related parties, said a Saudi Press Agency report.

Existing records of the joint stock companies increased in 2018 by 5.9 per cent compared to 2017, it said.

A total of 39 per cent of the Saudi companies are in Riyadh region, followed by Makkah region with 25 per cent, the Eastern region with 19 per cent, Madinah region with 4 per cent and Qassim region with 3 per cent, while in the domain of individual firms, 28 per cent are in Riyadh, 23 per cent in Makkah, 15 per cent in the Eastern-region, 7 per cent in Qassim and 5 per cent in Asir, respectively.


Global F&B spending to account for 8.9pc

WORLDWIDE consumption of food and beverages will account for 8.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030, up from today’s 8.5 per cent, according to the Gulfood Global Industry Outlook Report 2019 released at Gulfood 2019.

With the rising demand driven by growing and more urbanised regional populations, the strongest demand is due to emanate from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, which the report identifies as areas of “high potential”, said the report. Compiled by Euromonitor International, the knowledge partner of Gulfood, the report also reveals the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region will record the highest percentage growth of any global territory in packaged health and wellness food.


$846bn to be spent on oil projects by 2025

A TOTAL new-build capital expenditure (capex) of $846 billion is expected to be spent globally on planned and announced upstream oil and gas projects from 2019 to 2025, a report said.

Royal Dutch Shell leads among all oil and gas companies and is expected to spend $54.6 billion on upcoming upstream projects during the forecast period, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The report: ‘H1 2019 Global Oil and Gas Upstream Capital Expenditure Outlook by Key Countries and Companies to 2025 – Shell Leads New-Build Upstream Capex Outlook among Companies’ reveals that Gazprom and Exxon Mobil Corp are the next top spenders with new-build capex of $49.8 billion and $43 billion, respectively.

Soorya Tejomoortula, oil and gas analyst at GlobalData, said: “Shell has spread its new-build capex for the development of 60 upcoming upstream projects. This will further aid the company to expand its scale, and increase production and cash flows.” 

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