Qatar’s trade surplus of 33.9 billion …

A double-digit growth in imports and lower exports led Qatar report a 7% year-on-year shrinkage in trade surplus to QR33.92bn in December 2013.

The energy-rich Gulf country’s total exports (valued free-on-board) fell 3% to QR43.32bn, mainly on a double-digit fall in shipments to South Korea and India, according to the preliminary estimates of the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MD&PS).

Japan continued to be the top destination of Qatar’s exports, followed by South Korea, China, India and Singapore.

However, Qatar’s re-exports surged 52% to QR0.6bn during the review period.

The country’s total exports of domestic products shrank 3% to QR42.72bn in December, mainly on lower shipments of gas and non-crude products as well as other commodities; even as crude were on the rise.

Qatar’s exports of petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons (liquefied natural gas, condensates, propane and butane) fell 2% to QR27.65bn, non-crude petroleum oils and oil obtained from bituminous minerals by 6% to QR2.44bn and other commodities by 17% to QR4.93bn.

However, crude petroleum exports expanded 7% to QR7.69bn.

Petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons constituted 65% of total exports of domestic products in December 2013, compared to 64% the year-ago period, crude petroleum oils 18% (16%), non-crude petroleum oils and bituminous minerals 6% (6%) and other commodities 12% (13%).

“An expected decline in hydrocarbon export revenue, coupled with higher imports on the back of stronger domestic demand, will narrow the (external current account) surplus,” Qatar Economic Outlook 2013-14 update had said.

On exports destinations, Japan accounted for 33% of total exports in December 2013 against 32% the year-ago period, South Korea 15% (20%), China 11% (5%), India 11% (12%) and Singapore 5% (5%).

Qatar’s exports to South Korea witnessed 26% contraction to QR6.55bn and to India by 10% to QR4.8bn; whereas those to China more than doubled to QR4.81bn, to Singapore gained 7% to QR2.19bn and Japan by 1% to QR14.37bn.

Total imports (valued at cost insurance and freight) shot up 18% y-o-y to QR9.4bn in December 2013, mainly on substantial jump in shipments from Singapore and the UK.

China, the US, Singapore, the UAE and the UK were among the top five destinations, from where Qatar imported merchandise goods.

China accounted for 10% of Qatar’s imports in December compared to a similar proportion in 2012, followed by the US 10% (12%), Singapore 10% (1%), the UAE 7% (9%) and the UK 6% (4%).

Qatar’s imports from Singapore grew about 22-fold to QR0.91bn and those from the UK surged 89% to QR0.61bn and China by 24% to QR0.96bn; whereas those from the US fell 7% to QR0.91bn and the UAE by 4% to QR0.67bn.

Motor cars and vehicles, light vessels, fire floats, dredgers, aircraft spare parts and other group commodities were the main imported products in December 2013.

The country’s imports of aircraft spare parts surged 27% to QR0.49bn and other commodities by 8% to QR7.19bn whereas those of motor cars and other motor vehicles for transport was down less than 1% to QR0.91bn.

Qatar had imported QR0.81bn worth light vessels, fire floats, dredgers, floating docks and platforms. Source: Gulf Times

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