Oman's trade surplus soared 128.8 percent to $6.6 billion in 2000 on the back of the boom in world oil prices and a six percent rise in oil exports, a newspaper reported Tuesday, July 31. Oman Times, citing central bank figures, said the trade surplus surged to 2.586 billion rials ($6.6 billion) in 2000 compared with 1.13 billion rials ($2.9 billion) the previous year.
The jump in the external trade balance was attributed to the rise in international oil prices and a significant increase in the volume of oil exports. Total exports surged 56 percent to 4.352 billion rials ($11.2 billon), while oil export revenues soared 61 percent to 3.426 billion rials ($8.8 billion) from 2.127 billion rials ($5.4 billion) in 1999.
Annual oil exports rose by 18 million barrels, or almost six percent, to 326.8 million barrels in 2000. The annual average export price of Omani crude, according to the central bank, surged nearly 54 percent to $26.71 a barrel from $17.35 in 1999. The imports bill edged up 6.8 percent to 1.766 billion rials ($4.5 billion) compared with 1.653 billion rials ($4.2 billion) the previous year.
Gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 7.603 billion rials ($19.5 billion) at the end of 2000 compared with 6 billion rials ($15.4 billion) in 1999, the bank added. ― (AFP, Muscat)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )