Data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in March shows that the volume of international transfers has been increasing. Transfers of major arms in 2014–18 was 7.8 per cent higher than in 2009–13, and 23 per cent higher than in 2004–2008.
The ﬁve largest exporters in 2014–18 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China. Together, these five countries accounted for 75 per cent of the total volume of arms exports in 2014–18. Britain's arms exports increased by 5.9%, with 59% of the country's arms exports going to the Middle East region.
Significantly, the flow of arms increased to the Middle East between 2009–13 and 2014–18, while there was a decrease in flows to all other regions, with arms imports by Middle Eastern states increasing by 87 per cent between 2009–13 and 2014–18, and accounting for 35 per cent of global arms imports in 2014–18. Saudi Arabia became the world's largest arms importer, increasing imports by 192% compared to the 2009-2013 period. Egypt also increased (206%), as did Israel (354%), Qatar (225%), and Iraq (139%).
Algeria accounted for 56% of all major arms transfers to Africa.
Despite the increases in arms transfers to the Middle East, and despite a decrease by 6.7%, the Asia and Oceania region remains the largest importer of arms. Arms sales to the Americas also dropped (by 36%).
You can read SIPRI's full 2018 fact sheet here: https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2019-03/fs_1903_at_2018_0.pdf