UAE 2010 non-oil trade up 14 pct on global recovery

* UAE non-oil foreign trade up 14 pct y/y in 2010

* Non-oil exports jump 27 pct y/y

* For a table with December data: [ID:nLDE73201R]

By Martina Fuchs

DUBAI, April 3 (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates’ non-oil
foreign trade jumped 14 percent in 2010, data showed on Sunday,
helped by an improving global economy and trade with Asia.
Non-oil foreign trade in the UAE, the world’s third-largest
crude exporter and key Gulf business hub, picked up strongly
last year as global and local debt woes eased.

The value of the OPEC member’s non-oil foreign trade grew to
754.4 billion dirhams ($205.4 billion) from 660.4 billion in
2009, data from the UAE Federal Customs Authority (FCA) showed.

Exports without crude jumped 27 percent from 2009 to 83.1
billion dirhams, while re-exports grew 26 percent.

“The sturdy growth in the UAE non-oil foreign trade during
2010 despite the challenges faced by the international trade,
and with the continued international financial crisis and
political upheavals, confirms that the UAE foreign trade is on
the right track towards normalization,” the FCA said.

Non-oil imports increased by 8 percent year-on-year to 485.4
billion dirhams in 2010, the data also showed.

“The improvement in exports and re-exports is related to the
recovery in global demand and the rise in trade flows over the
year, with Asia being a strong contributor,” said Tim Fox, chief
economist at Emirates NBD bank.

“As far as the impact of regional uncertainty on UAE trade
is concerned, it is probably too early to draw strong
conclusions… The recovery in the world economy appears to be
continuing relatively uninterrupted so far, which suggests that
UAE trade should continue to hold up strongly as well,” he said.

The UAE has escaped protests that have shaken nearby
Bahrain, Oman and Yemen. But its government plans to spend $1.6
billion on infrastructure in less developed areas.
[ID:nLDE7210WW]

In 2010, India, China and the United States were the key
exporters to the UAE. Re-exports, the bulk of the UAE trade,
were led by India, Iran, and Iraq.

The top commodities by value were gold, diamonds, cars and
telephone sets, the data showed.

In a Reuters poll in March, analysts forecast a 3.4 percent
economic growth this year and 4.0 percent in 2012. (GULFPOLL1: Quote, Profile, Research)

In December, non-oil exports plunged 14.4 percent
year-on-year, while re-exports grew 32.4 percent and imports
18.4 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

“2010 confirms a very strong recovery in the on oil trade
activity in the UAE, which basically reflects very strong
activity of Dubai,” said Philippe Dauba-Pantanacce, a regional
senior economist at Standard Chartered in Dubai.

“The pick-up in import figures also reflect the recovering
domestic consumption in the UAE, in line with both a better
activity and continued net migration,” he said.

Dubai accounted for 76 percent of the UAE non-oil trade in
2010. Abu Dhabi accounts for almost all of the oil production.
Dubai’s non-oil exports may grow 20 percent in 2011 as new
doors to African markets open, government officials have said.
[ID:nLDE6BD1OR]
($1=3.672 dirhams)
(Editing by Firouz Sedarat)

UAE 2010 non-oil trade up 14 pct on global recovery