01 July 2021

UAE’s re-export trade tops $127 billion in 2020

The UAE’s entrepot trade amounted to AED467.5 billion ($127.2 billion) in 2020 despite the ongoing economic slowdown in direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC).

The re-export market accounts for 46.5 percent of the total re-exports and exports of commodities and services in 2020, which are valued at AED1.003 trillion, reported state news agency WAM.

They comprise 54.3 percent of the total commodity imports, which stood at AED860.1 billion in the same year, therefore proving the UAE remains the leading entrepot, warehouse and distribution country in the region.

According to the statistics, the total value of re-export trade in 2018 stood at around AED521 billion, or 44.2 percent of total re-exports and exports of products and services. In 2019 they were valued at AED516.5 billion, or 44.8 percent of total commodity exports and re-exports.


Bahrain’s FDI inflows reach $1 billion in 2020

Bahrain’s foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows increased by  $1.007 billion  in 2020, according to the latest World Investment Report (WIR 2021) from the UN Conference of Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The annual report charts global investment flows, analyses trade trends, and examines government policies that seek to expand world trade.

The report highlighted that global FDI contracted by 35 per cent to $1 trillion in 2020, with an expectation for flows to bottom out and increase by 10-15 per cent in 2021. Despite global trends, Bahrain experienced a 3.3 per cent increase in inward FDI stocks, reaching $31.7 billion in 2020.

Also highlighted was Bahrain’s stock to GDP ratio, where Bahrain’s inward FDI stocks relative to GDP reached 92 per cent, the highest ranking in the GCC and surpassing the global average of 49 per cent.

The report recognised the Government of Bahrain’s plans to continue implementing wide-ranging reforms to attract direct investments and link it to its national development and economic diversification plans.

A wide range of sectors drove investment, further demonstrating Bahrain’s strides in diversifying the non-oil sector. Some of the sectors mentioned in the report include manufacturing, education, healthcare, and information technology industries.

Khalid Humaidan, Chief Executive of Bahrain Economic Development Board, commented: “Despite the challenges that Covid-19 has brought to economies around the world, we were able to carry the momentum from the previous year and attract hundreds of millions of dollars in investment into the country. We are looking forward to continue working with our partners to attract investment into the Kingdom and support existing companies expand, further diversifying our economy and creating jobs in the local market.”


June 2021 air cargo volumes follow 2019 trend

Worldwide air cargo volumes so far in 2021 behave very much like in 2019: YtD May 2021 is only 1 per cent below the level of 2019, according to WorldACD.

However, when one looks at this on a more detailed geographic level, the picture is very different. The accompanying table shows that the origin regions Africa, Europe and Middle East & South Asia are below 2019 volume levels, whilst Asia Pacific, Central & South America and North America are above 2019 levels.

In other words, different markets show different performances: it matters where one does business. The statistics also show the rate/yield performance. A divergent picture emerges: the Yo2Y increase ranges from +24 per cent from North America to +108 per cent from Asia Pacific. The latter market may receive a lot of attention, but that does not mean it is representative for the industry.

The Yo2Y change in USD-revenue shows though all regions have double digit increases compared with 2019, Asia Pacific clearly is in a league of its own. Lastly, heading into the Northern Hemisphere summer, WorldACD looked at the provisional June figures derived from its most recent weekly data. The developments of the last five weeks, with the last three weeks (wk 22-24) covering a good part of June.


Trade in medical supplies, PPE surged in 2020: WTO

Despite the value of global merchandise trade shrinking by more than 8 per cent in 2020, trade in medical supplies increased by 16 per cent, and personal protective equipment (PPE) by 50 per cent, said the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in a new report.

The 25th WTO Trade Monitoring Report on G20 trade measures comes as the world continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. The mid-October 2020 to mid-May 2021 review period covered in this report provides important insight into a number of areas as countries begin addressing the challenges of a post-pandemic economic recovery. In particular, the past several months saw international cooperation and coordination among nations and intergovernmental organisations increase and intensify.

In terms of numbers, G20 economies implemented 140 trade and trade-related measures in the area of goods since the outbreak of the pandemic - 101 (72 per cent) of a trade-facilitating nature and 39 (28 per cent) of a trade-restrictive nature. The reduction or elimination of import tariffs and taxes made up 60 per cent of trade-facilitating measures taken, and certain G20 economies reduced their tariffs on a variety of goods such as PPE, sanitisers, disinfectants, medical equipment and medicine/drugs.


N America leads LNG liquefaction capacity additions

North America is expected to lead the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction capacity additions by 2025, contributing around 63 per cent, says GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company. The Former Soviet Union (FSU) region is a distant second place, with 18 per cent, followed by the Middle East at 10 per cent.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Global Capacity and Capital Expenditure Outlook for LNG Liquefaction Terminals, 2021–2025’, reveals that North America’s new-build and expansion projects will see additions of 206 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) between 2021 and 2025.

Bhargavi Gandham, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “In North America, the US primarily drives liquefaction capacity additions by 2025 and beyond. Though Covid-19 triggered project delays and postponement of a few projects in the US, it is on track to become the global leader banking on vast shale gas deposits, surpassing the traditional leaders – Australia and Qatar. Canada is also relying on its abundant natural gas resources to add liquefaction capacity for exports.”

Among the countries, the US is expected to account for 46 per cent of global LNG liquefaction capacity additions.  

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