JEDDAH: The sea has acquired the largest chunk of the Kingdom’s imports in 2016 with about 85 percent of them arriving by the water passages, local daily Al-Watan reported on Sunday quoting a report by the General Authority for Statistics (GAS). The report said the sea imports increased by about one percent as compared with 2015 when they were about 84 percent. The report noted a drop in the land imports which were only about 14 percent from the 15 percent in the previous year. The imports coming by air showed a slight increase from 0.5 in 2015 to 0.71 in 2016. It further said the sea imports weighed 65.5 million tons, of which about 36 percent (more than 23.8 million tons) arrived via Jeddah Islamic Seaport, which is the Kingdom’s main seaport on the Red Sea.
King Abdul Aziz Seaport on the Arabian Gulf in Dammam occupied second place receiving about 33 percent of the imports, weighing more than 21.5 million tons, while Al-Jubail industrial seaport handled about 15 percent of the imports, weighing about 9.5 million tons. The report noted a drop in the quantities of land imports last year which were 10.6 million tons (13.98 percent) from 12.9 million tons (15.34 percent) in 2015. It said 535,000 tons were airlifted last year, representing about 0.71 percent from 490,000 tons in 2015 with a percentage of 0.58 percent.