Yemen`s main trading partners are China and Saudi Arabia. Turkey is another important source of imports. Other main Yemeni export targets are Thailand, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Yemen imports cereals, food, chemicals and machinery. The dominant export product is crude oil, but it also exports gold and food to its neighbours. Nevertheless, trade remained relatively modest until the economic boom of the 1970s and 1980s; At the height of this boom, the value of Yemeni exports (mainly coffee, cotton products, hides and hides) was only a tiny fraction of imports, including foodstuffs of all kinds, manufactured goods (consumers such as industry), machinery, transportation, chemicals and petroleum products – the basic goods demanded from a population once isolated from the modern consumer economy. With the beginning of oil exports in the late 1980s, the relationship between exports and imports began to change dramatically. However, with the exception of oil exports, Yemen, with the exception of an infinitely small part of its export trade with its regional neighbours. Until the early 1960s, about three-quarters of the very modest international trade in northern Yemen had passed through Aden. However, after the 1962 revolution, the new government re-issued trade through the Red Sea port of Al-Udaydah, which was expanded and modernized with the support of the Soviet Union.
The ports of Aden and Al-Udaydah now handle almost all maritime traffic in Yemen. Although well equipped, the port of Al-Udaydah has experienced periods of congestion. Aden`s vast facilities were not saturated during the socialist period. With the unification and major modernization of port and production facilities, which began at the end of the 20th century (including the inauguration of an industrial free zone in 1991 and the opening of a container port in 1999), Aden will be able to manage most of the country`s international trade through good road links to Taizz, Ibb and beyond. The other ports of Yemen, in particular Mocha and Al-Moukalla, which are mainly used by small ships and for coastal transport and which, in Mocha`s case, are used for smuggling, began at the end of the 20th century with revitalization plans.