An Arab country on the Arabian Peninsula’s southeastern coast, the Sultanate of Oman shipped an estimated US$35.9 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 12.4% increase since 2015 but a -14.1% downturn from 2018 to 2019.
Given Oman’s population of 5 million people, its total $35.9 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $7,200 for every resident in the Middle Eastern country.
Oman’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Omani global shipments during 2019, at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Oman.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$27.7 billion (77.2% of total exports)
- Organic chemicals: $1.7 billion (4.8%)
- Iron, steel: $1.4 billion (4%)
- Fertilizers: $841.5 million (2.3%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $765.2 million (2.1%)
- Ships, boats: $754.6 million (2.1%)
- Aluminum: $640.4 million (1.8%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $352.3 million (1%)
- Gems, precious metals: $231.6 million (0.6%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $204.9 million (0.6%)
Oman’s top 10 exports accounted for 96.5% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Gems and precious metals was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 131% from 2018 to 2019. In second place for improving export sales was the ships and boats category via a 102.3% gain. Oman’s shipments of organic chemicals posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 32%.
The leading decliner among Oman’s top 10 export categories was salt, sulphur, stone and cement thanks to a -67.9% drop year over year.
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, crude oil represents Oman’s most valuable exported product at 55.4% of the country’s total. In second place were petroleum gases (16.3%) trailed by processed petroleum oils (5.1%), acyclic alcohols (2.5%), nitrogenous fertilizers (2.3%) and cyclic hydrocarbons (2.2%).
Overall Oman generated a $17.1 billion trade surplus for 2019, up by 6.7% from $16 billion in black ink one year earlier.
The following types of Omani 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 represent 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.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$26.8 billion (Down by -2.5% since 2018)
- Organic chemicals: $1.2 billion (Up by 2.5%)
- Iron, steel: $992.9 million (Reversing a -$469.9 million deficit)
- Fertilizers: $823.9 million (Up by 18.5%)
- Ships, boats: $614.1 million (Up by 78.4%)
- Aluminum: $530.2 million (Down by -24.7%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $300.3 million (Reversing a -$150.7 million deficit)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $162.2 million (Down by -53.3%)
- Fish: $118.4 million (Down by -46%)
- Gems, precious metals: $61.7 million (Reversing a -$661.8 million deficit)
Oman has highly positive net exports in the international trade of petroleum oils as well as petroleum gases. In turn, these cashflows indicate Oman’s strong competitive advantages under the mineral fuels including oil product category.
Below are exports from Oman that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Oman’s goods trail Omani importer spending on foreign products.
- Vehicles: -US$3.3 billion (Up by 254.9% since 2018)
- Machinery including computers: -$2.5 billion (Down by -28.6%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$1.4 billion (Down by -22.6%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$881 million (Down by -12.6%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: -$847.3 million (Reversing a $130.8 million surplus)
- Ores, slag, ash: -$432.3 million (Reversing a $40.1 million surplus)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$418.8 million (Up by 5.6%)
- Dairy, eggs, honey: -$396.9 million (Down by -18.5%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$330.9 million (Down by -13.9%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: -$320.9 million (Up by 9.2%)
Oman has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the vehicles category—particularly for cars and, to a lesser extent, trucks and automotive parts or accessories.
Omani Export Companies
One Omani corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000, namely Bank Muscat (regional bank).
Wikipedia also lists export-related companies from Oman. Selected examples are shown below:
- Oman LNG (oil, gas)
- Oman Oil Company (oil, gas)
- Oman Refinery Company (oil, gas)
- Omantel (telecommunications)
- Petroleum Development Oman (oil, gas)
- The Shaksy Group (diversified holding company)
In macroeconomic terms, Oman’s total exported goods represent 17.5% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2019 ($204.8 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 17.5% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2019 compares to 18.6% for 2018. These metrics suggest a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Oman’s total economic performance albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Oman’s average unemployment rate was 3.1% in 2019, the same percentage as one year earlier per Trading Economics.
Oman’s capital city is Muscat.
See also Crude Oil Exports by Country, Saudi Arabia’s Top 10 Exports and Top Middle Eastern Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on June 3, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 3, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 3, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 3, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 3, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 3, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Oman. Accessed on June 3, 2020
Wikipedia, Oman. Accessed on June 3, 2020
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 3, 2020
WorldOMeter, Oman Population. Accessed on June 3, 2020