Asia proves the largest trading partner (91%) of Qatar with EU comes after…

Qatar has witnessed a consistent deceleration year-on-year in exports across the last three quarters in 2013; while its imports were on the rise, according to official figures.

Asia was the largest trading partner of Qatar with the region accounting for about 91% of foreign merchandise trade surplus in 2013, followed by European Union (5%) and Gulf region (4%).

Qatar’s exports, which reported 8.4% growth in the first quarter, then slowed down with the second quarter growth at 1.9%, third quarter at 1.2% and fourth quarter at 0.2%, the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics said in annual bulletin of Foreign Merchandise Trade 2013, released yesterday.

In 2013, the value of Qatar’s total exports (including export of domestic goods and re-exports) amounted to QR498.2bn, increasing by QR14.2bn (2.9%) compared to 2012 figure of QR484bn.

The 2013 year-on-year rise in total exports were mainly due to higher shipment of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (QR10.8bn) and certain chemicals and related products (QR4bn); however, a decline was seen in manufactured goods, classified chiefly by materials (QR1.5bn).

On the other hand, Qatar’s imports, which recorded 3.9% expansion year-on-year in the first quarter, were then on the rise with the second quarter reporting 4.2% growth, third quarter 8.6% and fourth quarter 11.6%.

The value of Qatar imports in 2013 was QR98.4bn, increasing by QR6.6bn (7.2%) against the 2012 imports of QR91.8bn.

The 2013 year-on-year increase in imports reflected expansion mainly in machinery and transport equipment (QR5.1bn), chemical and related products (QR1bn) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (QR1bn).

During 2013, Asia was the principal destination of Qatar’s export and the first origin of imports, representing 79.4% and 33.7%; followed by the European Union accounting for 9.9% and 27.2% and the Gulf Cooperation Council with 6.5% and 14.8% respectively.

Among Asia, Japan was the major destination of exports (QR145.3bn), followed by South Korea (QR89.4bn) and India (QR52.1bn). During this period, exports to Asia were dominated by liquefied natural gas, crude oil, condensates, propane, butane, polyethylene, naphtha, aluminum alloys, urea, unwrought aluminum, vinyl chloride, methanol and ether derivatives.

China was the principal origin of imports (QR9.7bn), followed by Japan (QR7bn) and South Korea (QR3.9bn). Imports from Asia comprised principally vehicles (for private and public transport), floating platforms, telephone sets and mobiles, portable digital automatic data processing machines, air conditioners, new pneumatic tires, electrical panels, semi-milled or wholly-milled rice, tubes, pipes and hollow profiles of cast iron, and machinery for heat exchange units.

Within the European Union, the UK was the major partner country in 2013 with exports at QR14bn and imports at QR4.9bn and France (QR6.6bn and QR2.8bn).

Qatar’s exports to the EU were mainly LNG, polyethylene, kerosene, spark ignition, halogenated olefins, urea, melamine, methyl acetylene phenyl, original sculptures and aircraft spare parts; while imports were vehicles, parts of aircrafts, medical solutions, pressure reducing valves for pipes, boiler shells and parts of turbo jets.

Among the GCC countries, the UAE was the first partner with it reporting exports of QR21.2bn and imports of QR7.2bn. Exports to Kuwait stood at QR4.2bn and Saudi Arabia QR4.1bn. Imports from Saudi Arabia was QR4.4bn and Oman QR1.2bn.

Foreign merchandise trade with non-Arab African countries was QR4bn with Oceania and other American countries at QR2.1bn and other Arab countries at QR0.9bn. Source: Gulf Times