01 June 2020

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

Abu Dhabi’s external foodstuff trade at $1.27bn

ABU DHABI’S external foodstuff trade amounted to over AED4.663 billion ($1.27 billion) during the first quarter of the current year 2020, while the overall weight of the Emirate’s foodstuff trade in the same period reached more than 1.18 million tonnes through 41,430 transactions.

Abu Dhabi’s foreign trade distributed from foodstuff to imports at a value of over AED2.48 billion, exports of AED1.731 billion and re-exports of more than AED882 million, according to Abu Dhabi Customs, said a Wam news agency report.

It further stated that it is keen to strengthen its ongoing efforts to facilitate the smooth movement of foodstuff trade through its customs centres and to support the Country’s efforts to achieve foodstuff security, especially in the current exceptional circumstances the world is going through.

“The inspectors of the General Administration of Abu Dhabi Customs are working on providing the best customs services to food dealers in line with the country’s efforts to provide food and medicine indefinitely according to the guidelines of the rational leadership, which will meet all the needs of citizens and residents of foodstuff and consumer goods,” it said.

Abu Dhabi Customs said it will continue to play a vital role in ensuring the safety of foodstuff and its conformity to health conditions, ensuring its rapid market access and the highest quality standards, thereby enhancing the external trade of foodstuffs, including some types of fruits and vegetables, as well as meat, poultry, fish and other food needs.


Covid-19 to trigger decline in device shipments

GLOBAL shipments of devices (PCs, tablets and mobile phones) are on pace to decline 13.6 per cent in 2020, totalling 1.9 billion units, according to the latest forecast from leading research and advisory company Gartner.

“The forecasted decline in the PC market in particular could have been much worse,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner. “However, government lockdowns due to COVID-19 forced businesses and schools to enable millions of people to work from home and increase spending on new notebooks, Chromebooks and tablets for those workers. Education and government establishments also increased spending on those devices to facilitate e-learning.”

In 2020, PC shipments are expected to decline 10.5 per cent, while shipments of notebooks, tablets and Chromebooks are forecast to decline slower than the PC market overall in 2020, Gartner said in the report.

Gartner said that 48 per cent of employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 30 per cent pre-pandemic. Overall, the work from home trend will make IT departments shift to more notebooks, tablets and Chrome devices for work. “This trend combined with businesses required to create flexible business continuity plans will make business notebooks displace deskbased PCs through 2021 and 2022,” said Atwal.


Phone lifetimes to extend to 2.7 years in 2020

SHIPMENTS of total mobile phones are forecast to decline 14.6 per cent in 2020, while smartphone shipments will achieve a slightly slower decline of 13.7 per cent year over year to total 1.3 billion units in 2020.

“While users have increased the use of their mobile phones to communicate with colleagues, work partners, friends and families during lockdowns, reduced disposable income will result in fewer consumers upgrading their phones. As a result, phone lifetimes will extend from 2.5 years in 2018 to 2.7 years in 2020,” said Atwal.

In 2020, affordable 5G phones were expected to be the catalyst to increase phone replacements, but it will not be the case. 5G phones are now forecast to represent only 11 per cent of total mobile phone shipments in 2020.

“The delayed delivery of some 5G flagship phones is an ongoing issue,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner. “Moreover, the lack of 5G geographical coverage along with the increasing cost of the 5G phone contract will impact the choice of a 5G phone.”


Global IT spending to decline 8pc in 2020

WORLDWIDE IT spending is projected to total $3.4 trillion in 2020, a decline of 8 per cent from 2019, due to the impact of Covid-19, according to the latest forecast by leading global research and advisory company Gartner.

The coronavirus pandemic and effects of the global economic recession are causing CIOs to prioritize spending on technology and services that are deemed “mission-critical” over initiatives aimed at growth or transformation.

“CIOs have moved into emergency cost optimization which means that investments will be minimized and prioritized on operations that keep the business running, which will be the top priority for most organizations through 2020,” said John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice president at Gartner.

“Recovery will not follow previous patterns as the forces behind this recession will create both supply side and demand side shocks as the public health, social and commercial restrictions begin to lessen.”

All segments will experience a decline in 2020, with devices and data center systems experiencing the largest drops in spending. However, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spur remote working, sub segments such as public cloud services (which fall into multiple categories) will be a bright spot in the forecast, growing 19 per cent in 2020.


$400bn drop in energy investment likely: IEA

THE worldwide economic shock caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is having widespread and often dramatic effects on investments in the energy sector, said the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Investment 2020 report.

At the start of the year, IEA’s tracking of company announcements and investment-related policies suggested that worldwide capital expenditures on energy might edge higher by 2 per cent in 2020. This would have been the highest uptick in global energy investment since 2014. The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has upended these expectations, and 2020 is now set to see the largest decline in energy investment on record, a reduction of one-fifth – or almost $400 billion – in capital spending compared with 2019, the report said.

The baseline expectation for 2020 is a widespread global recession caused by prolonged restrictions on mobility and social and economic activity. With a gradual opening up of economies currently under lockdown, the recovery is U-shaped and accompanied by a substantial permanent loss of economic activity. Global gross domestic product (GDP) is assumed to decline by 6 per cent in 2020, an outlook broadly consistent with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) longer outbreak case (IMF, 2020), it said.

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