The most valuable Saudi imports also include mobile phones, gold and medicines. Mobile phones, gold, medications and computers represent other imported products benefiting from powerful demand. Foodstuffs including chicken, rice and barley are also among Saudi Arabia’s highest value imports.
The following list shows on which product categories Saudi importers spent the most. Unlike most information currently available on the web, the items below are detailed at the 4-digit tariff code level. This can help entrepreneurs identify more precisely which products in which Saudi Arabia has strong demand perhaps competitive disadvantages compared with other nations. Innovation satisfying that demand can transform these disadvantages into lucrative business opportunities.
Saudi Arabia ranks number 28 among the world’s major importing countries.
Highest Value Saudi Import Products
Below are the 20 highest value import products delivered to Saudi importers in 2015. Shown within brackets is the change in value for each imported product since 2011.
- Cars: US$17.6 billion (Up 56.9% from 2011 to 2015)
- Phone system devices: $7.6 billion (Up 35.5%)
- Gold (unwrought): $5.1 billion (Up 180.9%)
- Medication mixes in dosage: $3.9 billion (Up 97.4%)
- Trucks: $3.5 billion (Up 62.5%)
- Aircraft parts: $2.9 billion (Up 87.1%)
- Computers, optical readers: $2 billion (Up 5.1%)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $2 billion (Up 3.6%)
- Poultry meat: $1.9 billion (Up 5.1%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $1.8 billion (Up 39.3%)
- Rubber tires (new): $1.7 billion (Up 4.7%)
- Machinery parts: $1.7 billion (Up 60.3%)
- Air conditioners: $1.6 billion (Up 75.8%)
- Rice: $1.5 billion (Up 33.8%)
- Miscellaneous iron and steel structures: $1.5 billion (Up 33.9%)
- Barley: $1.5 billion (Down -25%)
- Liquid pumps and elevators: $1.4 billion (Up 19.1%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $1.3 billion (Up 41.3%)
- Miscellaneous furniture: $1.3 billion (Up 63%)
- Piston engines: $1.3 billion (Up 130.6%)
Among these product categories, unprocessed gold posted the greatest increase in Saudi import purchases with a 180.9% gain in value from $1.8 billion in 2011 to $5.1 billion during2015.
In second place were imported piston engines which appreciated 130.6% over the same 5-year period.
Saudi imports of medication mixes in dosage also showed a respectable gain in 2015 up 97.4% from 2011, followed by import purchases of aircraft parts up 87.1%.
Only one of Saudi Arabia’s top 20 imports declined in value from 2011 to 2015. Imported barley depreciated by 25% over the 5-year period.
See also Saudi Arabia’s Top 10 Major Export Companies and Saudi Arabia’s Top 10 Imports
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on October 3, 2016
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on October 3, 2016
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on October 3, 2016