Qatar will have booked huge surplus in the last fiscal with oil price averaging $109.40 a barrel in the financial year up to March, up 68% on the budget estimate for 2012-13.
Data compiled by researchers at QNB’s Economics, Financial Analysis & Research department indicates that Qatari crude fetched an average $108.60 in the first nine months of last fiscal (up to December 2012) and $110.3 in the first three months of this year.
An estimate by Bank of America Merrill Lynch put Qatar’s surplus at QR79.8bn (QR27bn budgeted), equivalent to 11.8% of estimated GDP, driven by higher-than projected hydrocarbon revenues and lower-than-budgeted capital expenditures.
Revenues from oil and gas stood at QR137bn, nearly 50% above their budgeted levels, though moderately down 10% below 2011-12 levels.
Qatar’s strong show in exports, particularly in liquefied natural gas, gas-to-liquids, and petrochemical products, is also contributing to the country’s surplus in the current fiscal.
The huge surplus would enable Qatar to give a further push to infrastructure upgrade in the country.
QNB has recently said that government spending would be higher than the budgeted $58bn in 2013/14 and may reach $66bn this financial year, as the country gets ready to tender planned major infrastructure projects within the time-frame set for FIFA World Cup 2022 soccer tournament in Doha.
Like last year, Qatar has taken $65 a barrel as the conservative price on which the budget for 2013 / 14 is to be based.
But QNB expects oil prices to be considerably higher in the months’ ahead, averaging $107/barrel for the fiscal period and leading to estimated revenue of around $74bn.
Already in April, Qatari crude, comprising both Dukhan and Marine, averaged $103.45, QNB said.
This will leave room for significantly higher spending than planned. Qatar, as with most GCC countries, tends to spend considerably more than budgeted as budgets are based on conservative oil price assumptions.
Furthermore, there are indications from recent trade and population data that project activity has been picking up since end-2012.
The government’s spending growth slowed in early 2012 as it consolidated expenditure plans and adopted a new medium-term budget framework.
However, QNB said spending was now likely to be ramped up as major infrastructure plans were being tendered in order to be completed within the timeframe required for the 2022 World Cup.
Data showed that the Qatari oil price had fallen below the three digit figure only once so far in the current fiscal 2012-13. In June the oil price averaged $95.8 a barrel.
The average price fetched by Qatari crude in the other months of the fiscal 2012 –13 is $119.4 (April); $108.9 (May); $100.1 (July); $109.7 (August); $113.2 (September); $110.9 (October); $110.1 (November) $109 (December), $110.2 (January), $113.2 (February) and $107.5 (March).
Source: Caye Global News, Gulf Times
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