First half witnesses UAE's non-oil trade hit Dh310b

The Federal Customs Authority (FCA) said in its first semi-annual announcement Wednesday that, in the first half of 2009, the UAE's non-oil trade touched Dh310 billion, of which imports accounted for Dh213 billion.

As per the FCA, though first half figures for 2008 are not available; however, the country's total non-oil trade reached Dh789 billion.

FCA said that the first half trade was Dh136 billion, or 44 per cent, accounted by UAE's top 10 trading partners.

The trade scenario, consistent with 2008 figures, was led by China, India, the US, Japan and Germany and accounted for 64 per cent of imports.

Giyas Gökkent, chief economist of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi's Asset Management Group explained, "In terms of item by item, we know for example the sales of cars and electronics are down. But [the decline in trade] is not surprising. We can look at the Central Bank's banking statistics and see letters of credit are down sharply."

As per the FCA, the second quarter saw the imports declining by 5% to Dh104 billion, compared with the first three months of the year.

Re-exports were decreased by 9% to Dh32 billion; whereas, over the first quarter, the non-oil exports reached Dh15 billion, an increase of 7%.