A sharp decline in exports amid sinking hydrocarbons foreign sales largely offset a marginal drop in imports cutting Qatar’s foreign trade surplus by 56% y/y to QAR9.3bn ($2.54bn) in December last year, the statistics office said in a preliminary estimate.
A high prior-year base and falling crude oil prices on the international markets cut Qatar’s total exports by 37% y/y and 5% m/m to QAR20.3bn in December. Imports fell just 1% y/y to QAR11bn during the month amid sustained strong private consumption and aggressive public spending.
Petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons sales fell 44% y/y to QAR12.6bn, equalling for 63% of the total.
Re-exports, however, grew 4.4% y/y to QAR643mn in December despite dropping 31% m/m.
Exports of petroleum oils & oils from bituminous minerals (crude) fell 51% y/y and 17% m/m to QAR2.7bn in December while those of petroleum oils & oils from bituminous minerals (not crude) dropped 13% y/y to QAR983mn during the month despite rising 9% m/m.
The major countries of destination for Qatari exports were Japan at QAR4.44bn (22% of the total) followed by India with QAR2.6bn and South Korea with QAR2.5bn.
The major import destinations were China at QAR1.3bn (11.4% of imports) followed by the USA at QAR1.19bn, the UK third with QAR937mn and the UAE fourth at QAR897mn.
Qatar’s CA surplus will decrease to 8.4% of GDP in 2015 from 25.1% of GDP the previous year, according to IMF forecasts. But the sharp decline in crude oil prices will further cut the CA surplus to just 5.0% of GDP in 2016.
US President Donald Trump on October 16 warned that the termination of the Iran nuclear deal is still a clear possibility even though he ... more
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on October 3 told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it currently appears to be in the strategic interest of Washington to remain in the Iran nuclear deal. ... more
Iran’s foreign minister has said the country is willing to formally accept a tougher nuclear inspection regime in six years. However, Mohammad Javad Zarif continued to rule out any renegotiation of ... more