RIYADH, June 27 (Xinhua) — China emerged as the leading destination for Saudi Arabia’s exports in April this year, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Thursday.

Citing the preliminary international trade data released by the Saudi General Authority for Statistics, the report said China was the largest importing nation for Saudi Arabia in April, contributing to 16.6 percent of the kingdom’s total goods exports valued at around 16.9 billion Saudi riyals (about 4.5 billion U.S. dollars).

According to the data, Japan and India ranked second and third places, with shares of 9.2 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively.

Saudi Arabia’s trade balance recorded a surplus of about 41.4 billion riyals in April, the highest this year, registering a 36-percent increase from March and an over 48.5-percent rise since the beginning of this year, showed the data.

The kingdom’s goods exports totaled 101.7 billion riyals in April, with non-oil exports reaching approximately 16.2 billion riyals, making up 16 percent of the total exports.

Between 2019 and 2023, the value of Saudi non-oil exports to China exceeded 176 billion riyals, with significant contributions from the sectors of chemicals, polymers and metals, said the SPA in a separate report on Thursday.