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Saudi Arabia’s imports from Turkey edge up in February | Reuters

The value of Saudi imports from Turkey increased month-on-month in February, according to official data, but remained well below last year’s amount after an informal blockade by Saudi Arabia.

Imports from Turkey came to 24.5 million riyals ($6.53 million) in February, up from 14.1 million riyals a month earlier but still about 98% down year on year, data from Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics showed on Sunday.

Riyadh has never publicly acknowledged boycotting goods from Turkey, but last year Saudi businessmen endorsed the move in response to what they called hostility from Ankara.

Relations between the two countries were thrown into turmoil in 2018 over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Some Turkish exporters have been re-routing goods to circumvent the issue, exporters and traders have told Reuters, and Turkey last month raised the issue at a World Trade Organisation Goods Council meeting in Geneva.

Turkey tumbled to 67th in terms of imports to Saudi Arabia from 11th in February last year, the data showed, while China remained Saudi’s top trading partner.

The value of Saudi overall exports meanwhile increased 3% year-on-year in February driven by non-oil exports, the statistics authority said.

Exports amounted to 65.8 billion riyals, up from 63.8 billion riyals in February 2020, but oil exports fell by 0.7 billion riyals or 1.4% in the same period.

On a month-on-month basis, however, overall Saudi exports decreased by 6.2 billion riyals, or 8.6%. Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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