Jordan’s trade deficit with GAFTA hits JD718 million

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN  — Jordan’s trade deficit with the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) increased by 70.9 percent to JD718 million in the first quarter of 2022, compared with JD420 million in the corresponding period last year, the Department of Statistics (DoS) announced on Saturday.اضافة اعلان

According to the DoS foreign trade data, the value of national exports to the GAFTA countries rose in first quarter of 2022 by 33.5 percent to JD597 million, compared with JD447 in the same period in 2021, said the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

Additionally, Jordan’s imports from GAFTA member countries increased “significantly” by 51.7 percent, to JD1.315 billion during the first quarter of 2022, compared JD867 million in the same period last year, the DoS figures showed, according to Petra.

Saudi Arabia topped the list of Jordan’s exports to GAFTA in the first quarter 2022, reaching JD181 million. Saudi Arabia was also the largest exporter to Jordan, with a value of JD636 million, Petra said.

As a result, the trade deficit with Saudi Arabia amounted to JD455 million in the first quarter 2022.

Speaking to Petra on Saturday, Head of the Jordan Chamber of Industry Fathi Al-Jaghbir said Jordan’s imports from GAFTA countries jumped by 52 percent, or about JD430 million, in the first quarter of 2022, compared with the same period last year.

He said a clear driver behind the rise is Jordan’s imports of oil products and derivatives, which increased by about 50 percent, in light of the Kingdom’s reliance on oil deliveries from Arab countries, mainly Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The increase of fuel imports is in light of the “remarkable” rise in oil prices globally during the first quarter of 2022, Jaghbir said. It said prices exceeded $120 a barrel, almost double the $70 price per barrel in the first quarter in 2021.

He said Saudi Arabia remained the top Arab exporter to Jordan, followed by the UAE with JD310 million.

Jordan’s imports from the UAE include gold, oil products and their derivatives, which saw “a record” increase during this period that is attributed to the rise in global oil and gold products’ prices, he noted.

He pointed out that Jordan’s exported products to GAFTA were mainly pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, livestock, vegetable products, fertilizer, iron, steel, and raw phosphates.

On the other hand, he added, Jordan’s most imported products from GAFTA included oil and its derivatives, natural gas, gold, foodstuff and agricultural products, plastic, and other raw material.

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