The United States and Saudi Arabia enjoy a strong reciprocal trading relationship and the latest 2019 data reflects this continued partnership. The U.S. remains the second largest source of goods imported by Saudi Arabia while Saudi Arabia is the 24th largest export market for the U.S., accounting for SAR53.6 billion ($14.3 billion) of U.S. goods. In recent years, the U.S. has become less dependent on imports of crude oil and downstream petroleum products due to the proliferation of shale oil production. This trend has continued in 2019 with Saudi Arabia’s top two non-oil exports, petroleum derivatives and chemicals, declining along with overall crude oil imports. However, the U.S. has remained a top 10 export market for Saudi Arabia’s non-oil goods as primary metal manufactures, machinery, plastics, and other manufactured goods grew as a percentage of U.S. imports. Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 objectives aim to stimulate a new phase of industrialization to accelerate its non-oil exports by building localized value chains and developing a robust manufacturing base. In 2019, we can see the beginning of an evolution in the U.S.-Saudi trading relationship away from crude towards one based more on manufacturing and industrial outputs. The fastest growing Saudi import from the U.S. was ferrous scrap material, a common industrial input, while aluminum manufactures exported from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. have soared.
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