Saudi's non-oil exports up 26% to $3.8bn in Feb

Official data shows that petrochemicals is product most in demand; China is No 1 customer

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports rose an annual 26 percent in February to SR14.3bn ($3.8bn), the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing data from the Central Department of Statistics.

The data showed the total weight of exports reached 3,878,000 tonnes, an increase of 470,000 tons on th same period last year, up 14 percent.

The report added that petrochemicals were the biggest exported product in February amounting to SR5.2bn, followed by plastic products and foodstuffs.

China ranked first as Saudi Arabia's biggest customer of its non-oil exports with a total of SR2bn, followed by the UAE with SR1.5bn, Singapore (SR836m), India (SR800m), and Turkey (SR714m).

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia's government was reportedly considering switching the kingdom's weekend from Thursday-Friday to Friday-Saturday in a bid to boost trade.

A government committee in the GCC's most populous nation is nearing completion of a study into the economic and social benefits of the change, which would align Saudi's weekend with that of neighbouring countries.

Economically, preliminary statistics have revealed that Saudi loses billions of dollars in both trade and financial transactions as Thursday is not a public holiday in any other part of the world.

With 48 Thursdays in a year, the country misses out on the probable economic benefit of a month and a half per year, it has been argued.

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