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The ongoing crisis in the Red Sea region has had a significant impact on non-oil exports from the Middle East, with January seeing the steepest fall in nine months. According to recent data released by the National Export Council, non-oil exports dropped by 12% in January compared to the previous month, marking the largest decline since April of last year.

The Red Sea crisis, which has seen heightened tensions between regional powers and disrupted trade routes, has had ripple effects on the export sector in the Middle East. Countries in the region heavily rely on non-oil exports to drive economic growth and diversify their revenue sources, making any disruptions to trade a cause for concern.

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The decline in non-oil exports in January was mainly driven by a decrease in shipments of agricultural products, textiles, and machinery. These sectors have traditionally been strong contributors to the region’s export revenues, but the ongoing crisis has led to delays in shipments, increased transportation costs, and uncertainty among foreign buyers.

The National Export Council has warned that the Red Sea crisis could continue to impact non-oil exports in the coming months, as long as tensions remain high and trade routes remain disrupted. The council has called for coordinated efforts between regional governments to de-escalate the situation and restore normal trade operations.

In response to the decline in non-oil exports, some countries in the region are looking to diversify their export markets and reduce their reliance on traditional trading partners. This includes exploring new trade agreements with countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as investing in new industries and technologies to boost export capabilities. Overall, the steepest fall in non-oil exports in nine months in January highlights the vulnerability of the Middle East’s export sector to external shocks and geopolitical tensions. As regional powers work to resolve the Red Sea crisis and restore trade routes, it will be crucial for governments and businesses to adapt to the changing economic landscape and find new opportunities for growth and development.

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