Bahrain’s Top 10 Exports

Bahrain flag (

Bahrain flag (

A tiny constitutional monarchy located in the Persian Gulf, the Kingdom of Bahrain shipped US$12.9 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016. That dollar amount represents a -22.4% drop since 2012 and a -22.7% decline from 2015 to 2016.

Bahrain’s top 10 exports accounted for 84.8% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Bahrain’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $66.37 billion in 2016 (on a purchasing power parity basis).Therefore, exports represent an estimated 19.4% of total Bahraini economic output.

From a continental perspective, $9.73 billion or three-quarters (74.7%) of Bahraini exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 11.1% were sold to North American importers. Bahrain shipped another 6.6% worth of goods to Africa with 4.9% going to Europe.

Given Bahrain’s population of 1.4 million people, its total $12.9 billion in 2016 exports translates to roughly $9,400 for every resident in that country.

Trading Economics projects Bahrain’s unemployment rate to be 4% as of June 2017.

Bahrain’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Bahraini global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Bahrain.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$6.3 billion (48.5% of total exports)
  2. Aluminum: $1.8 billion (14%)
  3. Ores, slag, ash: $780 million (6%)
  4. Machinery including computers: $616.5 million (4.8%)
  5. Iron, steel: $345 million (2.7%)
  6. Electrical machinery, equipment: $255 million (2%)
  7. Vehicles : $231.8 million (1.8%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: $217.1 million (1.68%)
  9. Gems, precious metals: $214.5 million (1.66%)
  10. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $210.3 million (1.6%)

Knit or crochet clothing, accessories was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 810.7% for the 5-year period starting in 2012.

In second place for improving export sales was the iron and steel category which rose by 218.9%.

Bahraini gems and precious metals posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 137.7%, led by jewelry and diamonds.

The leading decliner among the top 10 Bahraini export categories was ores, slag and ash which fell by -43.2%. This category was weighed down by iron ores and concentrates.


The following types of Bahraini product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$2.9 billion (Down by -51.3% since 2012)
  2. Aluminum: $1.6 billion (Down by -21.2%)
  3. Ores, slag, ash: $510.8 million (Down by -17%)
  4. Fertilizers: $156.7 million (Down by -29.1%)
  5. Iron, steel: $116.5 million (Reversing a -$167.7 million deficit)
  6. Organic chemicals: $77.5 million (Down by -75.6%)
  7. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $62 million (Reversing a -$41.6 million deficit)
  8. Railways, streetcars: $40.1 million (Up by 224.6%)
  9. Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $33.4 million (Up by 271.1%)
  10. Arms, ammunition: $467,000 (Reversing a -$9.3 million deficit)

Bahrain has highly positive net exports in the international trade of mineral fuels including oil, particularly refined petroleum oils. In turn, these cashflows indicate Bahrain’s strong competitive advantages under the mineral fuels including oil category.


Overall, Bahrain incurred a -$1.9 billion trade deficit for 2016.

Below are exports from Bahrain that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Bahrain’s goods trail Bahraini importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Vehicles : -US$1.4 billion (Up by 12.7% since 2012)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$753 million (Down by -1.6%)
  3. Machinery including computers: -$555.8 million (Down by -42%)
  4. Inorganic chemicals: -$432.4 million (Up by 105.8%)
  5. Ships, boats: -$379.4 million (Up by 22,579%)
  6. Pharmaceuticals: -$306.2 million (Up by 49.7%)
  7. Gems, precious metals: -$232.6 million (Up by 52.8%)
  8. Meat: -$219.4 million (Up by 8.8%)
  9. Dairy, eggs, honey: -$211.4 million (Up by 157.7%)
  10. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: -$194.3 million (Up by 48.9%)

Bahrain has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the vehicles category.


Bahraini Export Companies

Two Bahraini regional banks rank among Forbes Global 2000 corporations for 2016, namely Ahli United Bank and Arab Banking.

Wikipedia lists exports-related companies from Bahrain. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Al Baraka Banking Group (investment banking)
  • Aluminium Bahrain (aluminum and related products)
  • Bahrain Petroleum Company (oil, gas)
  • Banagas (natural gas)
  • DHL International Aviation ME (cargo transportation)
  • Fakhro Group (industrial conglomerate)
  • Nass Corporation B.S.C. (construction materials)
  • Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo (travel, shipping, technology conglomerate)

Bahrain’s capital city is Manama.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Saudi Arabia’s Top 10 Exports, Jordan’s Top 10 Exports and Top Middle Eastern Export Countries

Research Sources:, Flag of Bahrain. Accessed on August 28, 2017

Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 28, 2017

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 28, 2017

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 28, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 28, 2017

The World Factbook, Middle East: Bahrain. Accessed on August 28, 2017

Wikipedia, Bahrain. Accessed on August 28, 2017

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Bahrain. Accessed on August 28, 2017

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Manama, Bahrain. Accessed on August 28, 2017