Why Qatar trade surplus drops?

A drastic fall in hydrocarbons export earnings has resulted in Qatar’s trade surplus shrinking about 53% year-on-year (y-o-y) to QR14.88bn in June this year, according to official figures.
Japan, South Korea, India, the UAE and China continued to be the top destination of Qatar’s exports, but shipments to Asian countries witnessed a substantial double-digit plunge y-o-y in June 2015, the figures of the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS) revealed.
The precipitous overall fall in the country’s trade surplus is rather reflective of the considerable drop in the energy prices, which is at least 40% lower than the 2014 levels, owing to lower demand and increase in the supply from the US and other non-Opec producers.
The trade surplus of Qatar, whose non-hydrocarbon segments is now firing from all cylinders as part of diversification to keep the economy grow well above the peers, was seen falling 2.4% compared to that in May 2015 mainly due to shrinkage in exports of crude and natural gas.
The country’s total exports (valued free-on-board) plunged 40.4% y-o-y to QR24.1bn and it reported 2.9% fall month-on-month.
MDPS, in its Qatar Economic Outlook 2014-16 Update, had cautioned that a prolonged weakening of oil prices could pose a key downside risk to the economic outlook.
The country’s total exports of domestic products sunk 41.2% to QR23.46bn in June 2015 and it was down 2% against May this year.
Qatar’s crude exports tanked 57.5% to QR3.2bn, non-crude by 46.6% to QR1.28bn and petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons by 44.6% to QR14.52bn; even as exports of other groups of commodities increased 19.4% to QR4.47bn.
Against May 2015 levels, there was 11.7% decline in exports of crude and 8.9% in petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons; whereas non-crude exports expanded 13% and other groups of commodities by 35.8%.
Petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons constituted 61.89% of total exports of domestic products in June 2015 compared to 65.74% in the year-ago period; crude petroleum oils 13.64% (18.89%), non-crude petroleum oils and bituminous minerals 5.46% (5.99%) and other commodities 19.05% (9.41%).
On export destinations, Japan accounted for 19% of total exports in June 2015,followed by South Korea (18%), India (10%), the UAE (9%) and China (6%).
Qatar’s exports to Japan plunged 58.76% y-o-y to QR4.47bn, China by 52.24% to QR1.49bn, India by 44.89% to QR2.32bn and South Korea by 44.07% to QR4.29bn; while those to the UAE rose 10% to QR2.19bn.
Against May 2015 levels, Qatar’s shipments to India fell the maximum of 25.4%, Japan by 6.88% and South Korea by 2.72%; whereas those to the UAE expanded 25.86% and China 2.05%.
The country’s re-exports had reported a 19.2% growth y-o-y to QR0.64bn in June 2015 and it fell 23.5% compared to the previous month.
Total imports (valued at cost insurance and freight) had risen 1.6% y-o-y to QR9.23bn in June on faster growth in shipments from the UK, the US and Germany. Imports, however, shrank 3.6% compared to those in May this year.
The US, China, the UAE, the UK and Germany were among the top five destinations from where Qatar imported merchandise goods.
The US accounted for 12% of Qatar’s imports in June 2015, followed by China 11%, the UAE 10%, and the UK and Germany (7% each).
Qatar’s imports from the UK surged 32.07% to QR0.66bn, the US by 24.48% to QR1.14bn and Germany by 13.46% to QR0.63bn; whereas those from the UAE declined 23.2% to QR0.89bn and China by 0.89% to QR1bn.
Against May 2015 levels, Qatar’s imports from the UK had risen 45.39%, China by 5.14% and the US by 2.49%; while those from the UAE fell 3.48% and Germany by 2.62%.
Parts of aircraft and helicopters, motor cars, electrical apparatus and other commodities were the main components in Qatar’s import basket.
The imports of parts of aircraft and helicopters shot up 97.3% to QR0.88bn and motor cars by 26.1% to QR0.79bn; while those of other commodities fell 5.7% to QR7.34bn and electrical apparatus by 3.9% to QR0.22bn. Source: Gulf Times