Top Middle Eastern Export Countries

20/10/2021
Top Middle Eastern Export Countries
Exports from countries in the Middle East totaled US$797 billion for 2020. That dollar amount reflects a -14.1% decline since 2016 when shipments for the Middle East aggregation totaled an estimated $928.3 billion.

From 2019 to 2020, the value of exports from Middle Eastern countries decreased by -31.8%.

In contrast, global exports from all countries worldwide were worth $17.142 trillion in 2020, rising 8.5% in value since 2016 but decelerating by -7.8% from 2019 to 2020. For context, consider that Mideast exports represent an estimated 4.6% by value of total global exports from all countries during 2020. That percentage is lower than 5.9% in 2016 and 6.3% in 2019, reflecting the shrinking proportionate value of exports shipped from the Middle East.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, the total Gross Domestic Product for Middle Eastern countries amounted to an estimated $7.415 trillion in 2020 on a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) basis. Therefore, exported products accounted for roughly 10.7% of the Middle East’s total economic output in terms of GDP per PPP for 2020. That percentage compares with 12.8% two years earlier in 2018.

Given the Middle East’s estimated population of about 440.7 million people in 2020, the total $797 billion in 2020 Middle Eastern exports translates to approximately $1,800 per person living in the Mideast.

Please note that Turkey and Egypt have been included with other Middle East countries for the purpose of this analysis. This is because, in accordance with our World Trade Organization statistical sources, Turkey is grouped with Asian nations although Egypt is listed under Africa.

Below are Middle Eastern export countries presented in the order of highest dollar value for 2020 global shipments. Also shown is each country’s overall share of Middle Eastern exports.


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On a year-over-year basis, the sole Mideast exporters to grow their export revenues from 2019 to 2020 were Syria (up 12.2%) and Lebanon (up 12.2%).

Leading the decliners in the latest annual period were Palestine (down -86.1%), United Arab Emirates (down -52.1%), Bahrain (down -44.1%) and Kuwait (down -33.6%).

by Daniel Workman