WTI crude may average $86.6/barrel and Brent $91.9 in 2023, Visual Capitalist said in its ‘Guide to 2023’, part of the global 2023 forecast series- VC+.Energy was the S&P 500’s top performing sector two years in a row, and many experts feel that more growth is on the horizon.The global system that supplies energy is breathtakingly complex, with a lot of unpredictable factors at play. Of all factors, conflict can create the most volatility, and 2023 has a number of geopolitical risks that could impact energy supplies.First, Europe will continue to diversify its energy imports away from Russia. Recently, liquefied natural gas from the US has helped fill gaps.Iran could be a flashpoint in the Middle East this year, Visual Capitalist noted.A brewing conflict in the region could cause instability, which will have knock-on effects on the energy industry — particularly in the event of attacks on oil and gas infrastructure.A few other factors to consider this year according to Visual Capitalist are: The US Energy Department aims to replenish its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, easing of US sanctions on Venezuela could lay the ground work for increased oil production, in post-zero-Covid China, economic activity will increase, pushing up demand, and in the UK, the energy price guarantee will rise in April, meaning higher energy bills for households.
Qatar’s GDP per capita is set to scale up to $111,047 in 2027 from $85,306 this year, on the back of nation’s economic growth driven by higher LNG revenues from North Field expansion, a report has shown.According to FocusEconomics, Qatar’s GDP per capita will rise to $85,573 in 2024, $94,693 in 2025 and $103,218 in 2026.The country’s GDP, FocusEconomics said, will rise to $279bn in 2027 from $223bn this year. Next year, the researcher estimates Qatar’s GDP to total $222bn, followed by $243bn (2025) and $262bn (2026).Qatar’s GDP growth is expected to be 2.6% this year and in 2024, 5% (2025), 4.6% (2026) and 4.5% (2027).“Growth will slow this year as the tailwind from the World Cup disappears, interest rates rise and external demand weakens. However, ongoing gas sector development will provide support,” the researcher noted.A long-term tourism boost from the World Cup and improved relations with Arab neighbours are upside risks, while a sharper-than-expected global downturn is a downside risk, FocusEconomics said.Qatar’s fiscal balance (as a percentage of GDP) will be 8.5 this year 6.1 (2024), 5.3 (2025) 6.7 (2026) and 6.5 (2027).Current account balance (as a percentage of GDP) will be 17.8 this year 13.6 (2024), 10.7 (2025), 14.6 (2026) and 15.9 (2027).Current account balance in dollar terms will be $39.8bn this year, $30.3bn (2024), $25.9bn (2025), $38.2bn (2026) and $44.4bn (2027).Merchandise trade balance in dollar terms will be $85.3bn this year, $81.9bn (2024), $76.7bn (2025), $85.4bn (2026) and $97.5bn (2027).FocusEconomics said the country’s pubic debt (as a percentage of GDP) has been estimated to be 39.3 this year, 38.2 (2024), 36.8 (2025), 37.6 (2026) and 35.9 (2027).Unemployment (as a percentage of active population) will remain at a meagre 0.2 until 2027, the researcher said.The non-oil private sector lost steam in Q3 2022, according to PMI data, while the oil sector was robust, with energy production rising around 8% year on year in July–August.Turning to Q4, 2022, the FIFA World Cup, which was held in November/December, should have provided a notable economic boost.“It reportedly drew 0.8mn visitors in the first two weeks alone — for comparison, Qatar saw roughly 2mn foreign visitors in the whole of 2019. This should have spurred the private services sector, although public-sector activity will have been dampened by the decision to reduce school and government office hours for the duration of the event,” FocusEconomics said.Inflation rose to 5.3% in November from 5% in October. The Qatar Central Bank hiked the lending rate by 50 basis points to 5.5% in December to match the US Federal Reserve. Inflation is expected to decline this year as commodity prices recede, interest rates rise further and the economy cools.FocusEconomics panellists see inflation averaging 3.1% in 2023, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2% in 2024.Last month at an interaction with Qatari media in Doha, HE the Minister of Finance Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari said Qatar expects to achieve a double-digit growth by 2027, driven primarily by higher LNG revenues from the North Field expansion.The North Field expansion plan includes six LNG trains that will ramp up Qatar’s liquefaction capacity from 77 mtpy to 126 mtpy by 2027.Four trains will be part of the North Field East and two trains will be part of North Field South project.Already, QatarEnergy made significant strides in realising the North Field Expansion by choosing partners this year for both North Field South (NFS) and North Field East (NFE) expansion, which is the global industry’s largest ever LNG project.
Gold prices will move higher on the Federal Reserve (Fed) pullback on aggressive monetary tightening, Emirates NBD said and noted spot gold will record an average of $1,825/troy oz in the first quarter of the year.Gold prices have started 2023 in good shape, extending a rally from the last two months of 2022. Broad financial market expectation that the Fed will need to pull back on aggressive monetary tightening is helping to support the gold market even as Fed speakers show no sign of turning yet.“We had expected that gold will do well in 2023 but thought the rally would come later in the year. We are now bringing forward our expectation that gold prices will move higher and be able to sustain at higher levels,” Emirates NBD said in a report.Spot gold prices have gained around 2.6% year-to-date as of January 10, trading close to $1,870/troy oz and have rallied about 15% from the 2022 low of $1,622/troy oz.However, prices remain below their 2022 peak of more than $2,050/troy oz, hit in March last year when the Russian invasion of Ukraine first threatened geopolitical stability and prompted a flight to havens, Emirates NBD said.The relentless rise in rate expectations and UST yields, along with a stronger dollar, helped to sink gold prices over much of H2, 2022 but now the outlook for rates is more uncertain.Fed officials still expect to see the Fed Funds rate at more than 5%, but markets aren’t buying that the Fed will need to be as hawkish. The latest nonfarm payrolls report for December showed another strong headline gain in jobs numbers but accompanied by a slowdown in average hourly earnings. In addition, near-term indicators of US economic activity have turned decidedly negative: the services ISM for December fell sharply to 49.6 from 56.5 a month earlier.The evident slowdown in the economy—perhaps even qualifying for the Fed’s mythical soft landing—has meant that markets are anticipating that rates will peak at 5% mid-year and then start to move lower by the end of 2022.Such a rate trajectory, Emirates NBD noted should mean range-bound UST markets and a softer picture for the dollar, all of which are positive for gold. Combined with a slowing but still high inflation environment and a fraught geopolitical environment, gold prices look warranted to remain bid this year.“We expect spot gold to record an average of $1,825/troy oz in Q1 before pulling higher over the rest of the year with a target of $1,900/troy oz on average in Q4,” Emirates NBD added.
**media**Unruly passengers are a continuing concern for air carriers worldwide. With growing incidents of unruly behaviour by some passengers’ inflight, airlines, governments, and travellers are becoming increasingly concerned about the assaults on crew and other passengers, harassment and disregard for safety and public health directives.One such incident occurred on a Virgin Australia flight recently, where a pilot was forced to leave the cockpit to physically remove the man from the aircraft after he refused to co-operate, Sky News reported.The incident took place on a Townsville-Sydney flight when the aircraft was on the ground at Townsville Airport.The pilot was forced to leave the cockpit to physically remove the man from the aircraft after he refused to co-operate.News.com.au quoted the airline and said the passenger was removed from the flight owing to his unruly and disruptive behaviour. Police was later called to the airport and travel restrictions were also imposed on the passenger.US banking giant Wells Fargo recently sacked a top Indian executive, who is now under police custody, for allegedly misbehaving with a fellow lady passenger aboard an Air India flight from New York to New Delhi in late November last year.Air India, recently bought by the sprawling conglomerate Tata Group after decades under state control, has faced a torrent of criticism for its handling of the woman's complaint.Subsequently, India's aviation regulator admonished Air India's management for not reporting the incident on time.Last week, two drunk flyers on an IndiGo flight from New Delhi were held in Bihar State’s capital Patna. This follows a complaint to the Indian police from the airline they were flying on that they were under the influence of alcohol.Obstructive passengers are one of the issues that the aviation industry is still learning to cope with. On-board staff are faced with ever-increasing cases, which with many occurring during the peak holiday season and often making headlines around the world.While extremely serious disruptive behaviour from air passengers are still rare, it can be costly and cause aircraft delays.However, there is growing concern from airlines, governments and passengers at the increasing frequency and severity of these incidents that involve violence against crew and other passengers, harassment and failure to comply with safety and public health instructions, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).Committed by a minority of passengers, unruly incidents have a disproportionate impact, threatening safety, disrupting other passengers and crew and causing delays and diversions.The majority of incidents involved verbal abuse, failure to follow lawful crew instructions and other forms of anti-social behaviour, industry experts say.A significant proportion of reports indicated physical aggression towards passengers or crew or damage to the aircraft.Alcohol or drug intoxication was identified as a factor in some cases, though in the vast majority of instances these were consumed prior to boarding or from personal supply without knowledge of the crew.But due to loopholes in existing laws, many such offences often remain unpunished and culprits go scot-free.To assist member airlines in prevention and management of unruly passenger incidents, IATA has developed extensive guidance and training, for example in de-escalation techniques and the responsible service of alcohol during flights.The association is also working with airports, duty-free retailers and other groups to ensure the responsible sales and marketing of alcohol to avoid unruly passenger incidents resulting from intoxication.In addition, IATA is participating in public awareness campaigns that encourage responsible consumption of alcohol before travelling by air.IATA has also joined hands with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to introduce guidance on unruly and disruptive passengers.The guidance is titled ‘Manual on the Legal Aspects of Unruly and Disruptive Passengers’.The document is the result of the adoption of the ‘Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft’ (Montréal Protocol of 2014).The guidance will allow national governments to better deal with unruly passengers on international flights by passing appropriate legal measures.Unruly and disruptive passenger conduct can pose distinct threats to the safety and security of aircraft, flight crew and passengers.It can also generate costly disruptions to airlines and passengers alike in situations when aircraft need to be diverted to manage these incidents.Clearly, enhancing safety is the shared goal for governments and airlines, and deterring unruly and disruptive behaviour on flights is key to this.
Qatar’s economy has been forecast to grow at 3.4% this year, which will exceed that of Middle East and North African oil exporters’ growth in 2023, World Bank’s latest report has shown.In its ‘Global Economic Prospects’ report released Tuesday, World Bank forecasts Qatar economic growth will slow down to 2.9% in 2024.The World Bank’s estimate shows Qatar economy will have grown at 4% in 2022, much higher than -3.6% in 2020 and 1.5% in 2021.The Middle East and North Africa (MNA) region saw output expand by an estimated 5.7% in 2022—the region’s highest growth rate in a decade—as oil exporters enjoyed windfalls from increased oil and gas prices and rising production, World Bank noted.The rebound also reflected the ongoing recovery in the services sector from the pandemic slump. Nonetheless, the report said region is still characterised by widely divergent economic conditions and growth paths, high levels of poverty and unemployment in many countries, low labour productivity growth, elevated vulnerabilities, and fragile political and social contexts.Many oil exporting economies in the region enjoyed a rapid expansion in exports and production last year.With fixed exchange rates and fuel subsidies, Gulf Co-operation Council countries were able to maintain consumer inflation well below the global average, World Bank pointed out.In contrast, rising inflation and tightening financing conditions have weighed on output in net oil importers in the region.Consumer price inflation, on a year-on-year basis, increased last year to double-digit rates in many countries who suffered significant exchange rate depreciation and faced high food and energy prices.Outlook: Growth in MENA is projected to decelerate to 3.5% in 2023 and to 2.7% in 2024, World Bank said. The regional slowdown is mainly on account of a fading boom in net oil exporters, where growth is expected to slow to 3.3% and 2.3% in 2023 and 2024, respectively, from 6.1% in 2022.In the region’s net oil importers, growth is projected to be steady over 2023-24, at slightly above 4% a year, it said.Risks: Risks to growth in the Middle East and North Africa region remain to the downside. Spillovers from further weakness in key trading partners, tighter global financial conditions, increasing climate-related risks, rising social tensions, and political instability highlight the possibility of further economic contractions and increasing poverty.“A further deterioration in global and domestic financial or economic conditions could see economies with large macroeconomic imbalances fall into crisis,” World Bank said.Global economy facing recessionGlobal growth is slowing "perilously close" to recession, the World Bank said Tuesday, slashing its 2023 economic forecast on high inflation, rising interest rates and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Economists have warned of a slump in the world economy as countries battle soaring costs and central banks simultaneously hiked interest rates to cool demand -- worsening financial conditions amid ongoing disruptions from the war in Ukraine.**media**David MalpassThe World Bank's latest forecast points to a "sharp, long-lasting slowdown" with growth pegged at 1.7% this year, roughly half the pace it predicted in June, said the bank's latest Global Economic Prospects report. This is among the weakest rates seen in nearly three decades."Given fragile economic conditions, any new adverse development... could push the global economy into recession," the Washington-based development lender said.World Bank President David Malpass told reporters: "I'm concerned, deeply concerned that the slowdown may persist."
The $6bn Ras Laffan Petrochemicals complex will help meet the rising global demand for high-density polyethylene from 2026, when the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East and one of the largest in the world begins production.Qatar is currently supplying petrochemical products to countries and markets around the world.At the agreement signing with partner Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem), HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi said: “We are delighted to enter into this exciting new venture with Chevron Phillips Chemical – a leading and highly respected international petrochemicals company, and a long-term partner with whom we have achieved many successes together building and operating plants safely and efficiently for more than 20 years. Together, our large and diverse portfolio will not just help meet the world’s growing needs for advanced plastics and petrochemicals, but will also enable balanced growth and facilitate human development in a responsible and sustainable manner.”Bruce Chinn, president and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical said the polyethylene units at Ras Laffan will use Chevron Phillips Chemical’s MarTech loop slurry process to produce high-density polyethylene, which will primarily be exported from Qatar.The Ras Laffan project will be jointly implemented by QatarEnergy and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company.They have set up a joint venture company to implement the project, in which QatarEnergy will own a 70% equity share, and CPChem will own a 30% share.Chinn said polyethylene is used in the production of durable goods like pipe for natural gas and water delivery and recreational products such as kayaks and coolers. It is also used in packaging applications to protect and preserve food and keep medical supplies sterile. The facility will be constructed with modern, energy-saving technology and use ethane for feedstock, which along with other measures, is expected to result in lower greenhouse gas emissions than similar global facilities.“At Chevron Phillips Chemical, we continue to grow our global asset base where there is access to reliable, affordable feedstock. This investment will help meet global demand for polyethylene products,” Chinn said.According to Chevron Phillips Chemical the company’s “MarTech loop slurry technology is the number one choice worldwide for HDPE production.”“Licensed in 20 countries, resins produced with our PE loop slurry process account for more than 20% of worldwide HDPE.”The Ras Laffan Petrochemicals complex, expected to begin production in 2026, consists of an ethane cracker with a capacity of 2.1mn tonnes of ethylene per year, making it the largest in the Middle East and one of the largest in the world.It also includes two polyethylene trains with a combined output of 1.7mn tons per year of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) polymer products, raising Qatar’s overall petrochemical production capacity to almost 14mn tonnes per year.
The GCC will likely continue to outperform many developed economies in terms of GDP growth this year although the region’s outlook for 2023 is more cautious given the weaker external environment, a report has shown.While oil and gas output growth is expected to slow this year, continued investment to boost production capacity in the GCC region should see the sector contribute positively to headline GDP again in 2023, Emirates NBD said in a report.“We expect non-oil sector growth to slow to varying degrees across the GCC in 2023,” the report noted.Emirates NBD noted 2022 was a “stellar” year for the GCC economies, which have grown at the fastest pace in almost a decade, underpinned by a double-digit increase in oil production and strong non-oil sector activity as well.“We estimate GCC real GDP growth at 7.4% in 2022 on a nominal-GDP weighted basis, more than double the growth rate achieved in 2021,” Emirates NBD noted.Non-oil sector growth in the region was also “robust” as domestic demand continued to rebound from the pandemic-related contractions in 2020, it said.Emirates NBD said its view on robust government investment spending in the region is predicated on its expectation that oil prices will remain elevated this year, with Brent forecast to average over $100 per barrel in 2023.While oil has started 2023 on the back foot over global recession fears, supply remains constrained in the context of years of underinvestment in infrastructure and capacity. International sanctions on Russian energy exports may also contribute to tighter oil supply.On the demand side, Emirates NBD noted China’s abrupt relaxation of the most stringent Covid zero restrictions could see activity there normalise earlier than previously anticipated, and demand for oil may well surprise on the upside in the second half (H2) of this year.
The world-scale Ras Laffan petrochemicals complex - a $6bn integrated olefins and polyethylene facility - will be utilising “state-of-the-art design and technology” during its construction and operation to promote energy efficiency, HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi said Sunday.“It is important to stress the unique environmental attributes of this world-scale complex. It will have lower waste and greenhouse gas emissions, when compared with similar global facilities,” HE al-Kaabi said.QatarEnergy has announced the Final Investment Decision (FID) with Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (CPChem) to build the Ras Laffan Petrochemicals complex.The project marks an important milestone in QatarEnergy’s downstream expansion strategy, al-Kaabi said.It will not only facilitate further expansion in Qatar’s downstream and petrochemical sectors, but will also reinforce the country’s integrated position as a major global player in the upstream, LNG and downstream sectors.This will be further enhanced once the new world-scale petrochemical project in Orange, Texas, US, comes online in partnership with Chevron Phillips Chemical, executed by the joint venture Golden Triangle Polymers Company.The Ras Laffan Petrochemicals complex, expected to begin production in 2026, consists of an ethane cracker with a capacity of 2.1mn tonnes of ethylene per year.The 435-acre project site also includes two polyethylene trains with a combined output of 1.7mn tonnes per year of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) polymer products.Al-Kaabi added: “Today, we are delighted to enter into this exciting new venture with Chevron Phillips Chemical, a leading an highly respected international petrochemicals company, and a long-term partner with whom we have achieved many successes, building and operating plants safely and efficiently for more than 20 years.“Together our large and diverse portfolio will not just help meet the world’s growing needs for advanced plastics and petrochemicals, but will also enable balanced growth and facilitate human development in a responsible and sustainable manner.”
The polyethylene units at Ras Laffan will use Chevron Phillips Chemical’s MarTech loop slurry process to produce high-density polyethylene, which will primarily be exported from Qatar, said Bruce Chinn, President and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical.An agreement was signed by QatarEnergy and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company on Sunday to set up a joint venture company to implement the project, in which QatarEnergy will own a 70% equity share, and CPChem will own a 30% share.Chinn said polyethylene is used in the production of durable goods like pipe for natural gas and water delivery and recreational products such as kayaks and coolers. It is also used in packaging applications to protect and preserve food and keep medical supplies sterile. The facility will be constructed with modern, energy-saving technology and use ethane for feedstock, which along with other measures, is expected to result in lower greenhouse gas emissions than similar global facilities.“At Chevron Phillips Chemical, we continue to grow our global asset base where there is access to reliable, affordable feedstock. This investment will help meet global demand for polyethylene products,” Chinn said.“We are excited to expand on the long and successful history we have with QatarEnergy to safely construct and operate world-scale facilities,” Chinn said while speaking during the agreement signing at QatarEnergy headquarters in Doha.Chevron Phillips Chemical said it will provide project management services. Construction began with early works at the site in June 2022, and startup is expected in late 2026.The engineering, procurement and construction of the ethane cracker will be executed by a joint venture between Samsung Engineering and CTCI Corporation.Tecnimont will execute engineering, procurement and construction for the polyethylene units.
The upcoming $6bn integrated olefins and polyethylene facility at Ras Laffan, the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East and one of the largest in the world, is QatarEnergy’s largest investment ever in the country’s petrochemical sector and the first direct investment in 12 years.The project marks an important milestone in QatarEnergy’s downstream expansion strategy, HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi said.It will not only facilitate further expansion in Qatar’s downstream and petrochemical sectors, but will also reinforce the country’s integrated position as a major global player in the upstream, LNG and downstream sectors.The Ras Laffan Petrochemicals complex, expected to begin production in 2026, consists of an ethane cracker with a capacity of 2.1mn tonnes of ethylene per year.The 435-acre project site also includes two polyethylene trains with a combined output of 1.7mn tonnes per year of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) polymer products.This will raise Qatar’s overall petrochemical production capacity to almost 14mn tonnes per year, HE al-Kaabi told Gulf Times Sunday.“The Ras Laffan petrochemical complex will double our ethylene production capacity, and increase our local polymer production from 2.6mn to more than 4mn tonnes per year, and place the utmost emphasis on sustainable growth and the environment.”Al-Kaabi noted: “You may remember that in 2019, we announced the selection of Chevron Phillips Chemical as our joint venture partner in a new petrochemical complex to be developed and constructed in Ras Laffan Industrial City. We mentioned at that time that the new complex will have an ethane cracker with a nameplate capacity of 1.9mn tonnes of ethylene a year.“Today I am pleased to announce that this capacity has been raised to 2.1mn tonnes per year, making it the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East and one of the largest in the world. In addition, this integrated complex, which is expected to begin production in 2026, will also include two high-density polyethylene derivative units with a total production capacity of 1.7mn tonnes per year.”QatarEnergy and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (CPChem) created a joint venture, in which QatarEnergy will own a 70% equity share, and CPChem will own a 30% share.QatarEnergy also announced the award of the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the ethylene plant to SCJV, a joint venture company between Samsung Engineering Company of South Korea and CTCI of Taiwan.The EPC contract for the polyethylene plant was awarded to Maire Tecnimont of Italy, while Emerson of the USA was awarded the main automation contract.
QatarEnergy announced the Final Investment Decision (FID) with Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (CPChem) to build the Ras Laffan Petrochemicals complex - a $6bn integrated olefins and polyethylene facility- the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East and one of the largest in the world.An agreement was signed by QatarEnergy and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company to set up a joint venture company to implement the project, in which QatarEnergy will own a 70% equity share, and CPChem will own a 30% share.The agreement was signed at the QatarEnergy headquarters Sunday by HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, also the President and CEO of QatarEnergy and Bruce Chinn, president and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical.The Ras Laffan Petrochemicals complex, expected to begin production in 2026, consists of an ethane cracker with a capacity of 2.1mn tons of ethylene per year, making it the largest in the Middle East and one of the largest in the world. It also includes two polyethylene trains with a combined output of 1.7mn tons per year of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) polymer products, raising Qatar’s overall petrochemical production capacity to almost 14mn tons per year.The signing ceremony was attended by Mark Lashier, President and CEO of Phillips 66, and senior executives from QatarEnergy and CPChem.The integrated olefins and polyethylene facility at Ras Laffan marks QatarEnergy’s largest investment ever in the country’s petrochemical sector and the first direct investment in 12 years.QatarEnergy also announced the award of the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the ethylene plant to SCJV, a joint venture company between Samsung Engineering Company of South Korea and CTCI of Taiwan.The EPC contract for the polyethylene plant was awarded to Maire Tecnimont of Italy, while Emerson of the USA was awarded the main automation contract._____________________________________Read also:State-of-the-art Ras Laffan petrochemicals complex to promote energy efficiency: Al-KaabiRas Laffan polyethylene units to use Chevron Phillips Chemical’s MarTech loop slurry process: Chinn$6bn ethane cracker QatarEnergy’s largest investment ever in country's petrochemical sector _______________________________________The Ras Laffan Petrochemicals complex, expected to begin production in 2026, consists of an ethane cracker with a capacity of 2.1mn tons of ethylene per year, making it the largest in the Middle East and one of the largest in the world.It also includes two polyethylene trains with a combined output of 1.7mn tons per year of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) polymer products, raising Qatar’s overall petrochemical production capacity to almost 14mn tons per year.Addressing the event, al-Kaabi said, “This marks QatarEnergy’s largest investment ever in Qatar’s petrochemicals sector and the first direct investment in 12 years. It will double our ethylene production capacity, and increase our local polymer production from 2.6mn to more than 4mn tons per year, and place the utmost emphasis on sustainable growth and the environment.”“There is no doubt that this cornerstone investment in Ras Laffan Industrial City marks an important milestone in QatarEnergy’s downstream expansion strategy. It will not only facilitate further expansion in the downstream and petrochemical sectors in Qatar, but will also reinforce our integrated position as a major global player in the upstream, LNG, and downstream sectors. This will be further enhanced once the new world-scale petrochemical project in Orange, Texas, in the United States of America comes online in partnership with Chevron Phillips Chemical, executed by our joint venture Golden Triangle Polymers Company” al-Kaabi noted.Minister Al-Kaabi concluded his remarks by saying: “We are delighted to enter into this exciting new venture with Chevron Phillips Chemical – a leading and highly respected international petrochemicals company, and a long-term partner with whom we have achieved many successes together building and operating plants safely and efficiently for more than 20 years. Together, our large and diverse portfolio will not just help meet the world’s growing needs for advanced plastics and petrochemicals, but will also enable balanced growth and facilitate human development in a responsible and sustainable manner. I would like to thank everyone who has worked to reach this milestone. We are also grateful to the leadership and guidance of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, for his unwavering support to Qatar’s energy sector.”The final investment decision on the Ras Laffan Petrochemicals complex comes less than two months after QatarEnergy and Chevron Phillips Chemical took the Final Investment Decision to execute the $8.5bn Golden Triangle Polymers Plant on the US Gulf Coast in Texas.
With physical markets expected to tighten further on the back of supply constraints and stronger global demand, energy prices might see further upside, benefiting Qatar – one of the largest global exporters of liquefied natural gas.Middle East’s leading bank QNB expects prices to be well supported in a range of between $90 and $115 per barrel over the coming quarters.“On the demand side, after several quarters of negative economic growth de-ratings by analysts and international organisations, there is now scope for a more positive outlook. In fact, we expect stronger than previously anticipated economic growth in all major economies over the next couple of quarters, including in the US, Europe and China,” QNB Economics said in a recent report.Qatar’s budget surplus is expected to widen to 12% of GDP in 2023 on the assumption that oil and gas prices will remain high, an analysis by regional banking group Emirates NBD has shown.Last year, according to an Emirates NBD estimate, Qatar's budget surplus may have widened to over 10% of GDP.Qatar’s budget has benefited from the surge in oil and natural gas prices in 2022, with oil and gas revenues up 67% year-on-year (y-o-y) in the first half of 2022, Emirates NBD said recently.According to the Ministry of Finance, the budget for fiscal 2023 estimated a surplus of QR29bn. The budget has set spending at QR199bn with total revenue of QR228bn next year.Qatar’s oil revenue is expected to be QR186bn and non-oil revenue QR42bn this year.Higher revenue projected for 2023 (QR228bn) has been mainly due to the adoption of an average oil price of $65 per barrel for fiscal 2023 in place of $55 per barrel in 2022.Higher budget surplus in the first three quarters of 2022 denotes favourable oil and gas prices, which clearly helps Qatar to manage its assets and debts quite remarkably.Recent data from the Ministry of Finance showed Qatar’s financial surplus exceeded QR77bn in the first nine months of 2022 compared to QR4.9bn during the period in 2021.Revenues during the first nine months of 2022 reached QR232.6bn, with QR193.9bn coming from oil and gas, and QR38.6bn from non-oil revenues, exceeding the 2021 total revenue of QR193.7bn.Thrice in the last 10 years, Qatar achieved similarly huge surpluses: 2012 (QR77bn), 2013 (QR106.3bn), and 2014 (QR108.6bn).At a meeting with editors of Qatari newspapers in Doha in December, HE the Minister of Finance Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari said Qatar will use its budget surplus prudently by transferring it to a general reserve account in accordance with the provisions of the State Financial System Number 2 of 2015.The surplus, HE the minister said, will be used to prop up the new Financial Stability Fund besides bolstering the Qatar Central Bank reserves and reducing public debt.Recently, researcher FocusEconomics noted Qatar’s public debt will decline over the next three years from 39.9% this year to 38.7% of GDP in 2026.Next year, the country’s public debt has been estimated to be 40.8% and 39.7% in 2025.Qatar is already the “most highly rated” country (AA) in the GCC region by S&P.Moody’s has rated Qatar at ‘Aa3’ and Fitch at ‘AA-‘ , both top ratings.“Qatar is expected to further improve its ratings on favourable energy prices, abundant resources and prudent fiscal management. Budget surplus will help Qatar retire its debts earlier than expected,” an analyst told Gulf Times.
Qatar’s fiscal balance as a percentage of GDP is seen at 8.7% this year, even as researcher Oxford Economics estimates the country’s real GDP growth at 2.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) in 2023.The country’s current account balance as a percentage of GDP has been estimated at 14.3%.Inflation this year will drop to 2.5% from 4.6% in 2022, Oxford Economics said in a report yesterday. In 2021, Qatar recorded an inflation of 2.3%.Last year, Qatar’s GDP is estimated to have grown at 5.2% year-on-year while in 2021 it stood at 1.5%, the researcher noted. Fiscal balance as a percentage of GDP was estimated at 9.6%. In 2021, Qatar’s fiscal balance as a percentage of GDP was only 0.2%.The country’s current account balance last year stood at 17.3% and 14.7% in 2021.Qatar's headline PMI rose slightly to 49.6, indicating the subsiding effects of the FIFA World Cup, it said.Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) is an index of the prevailing direction of economic trends in the manufacturing and service sectors.Oxford Economics estimates the non-oil economy to lead GCC regional growth, rising by 4% in 2023.The GCC, the researcher estimates will achieve a real GDP growth of 2.9% in 2023, albeit much lower than the 7.3% achieved in 2022.In 2021, the region’s real GDP growth stood at 3.1%, Oxford Economics noted.The PMIs for both Saudi Arabia and the UAE eased to 56.9 and 54.2 in December, respectively, owing to slower output and new order inflows, the researcher said.“That said, activity in both economies remained in the expansionary zone, indicating that the outlook remains positive. Job creation in the Kingdom was the strongest in five years, but demand-side inflation inched higher,” Oxford Economics said.Oman has formally announced its 2023 budget. Based on an oil price of $55 per barrel, revenues are pencilled in at OMR10.05bn, and expenditures are expected at OMR11.35bn.This will move the budget account into a deficit of OMR1.3bn, or 3% of the GDP, after witnessing a surplus of OMR1.15bn in 2022. The government also highlighted that the budget surplus helped reduce the public debt from OMR20.8bn in 2021 to OMR17.7bn in 2022.“We forecast a much narrower gap, which balances expectations of lower oil production than assumed in the budget with higher expected oil price than the budgeted $55. Support for households will be maintained, while further non-oil revenue generating reforms, including the mulled income tax, look set to be delayed,” Oxford Economics noted.
Migrants' ability to remit has been protected by GCC countries by ensuring low inflation through direct support measures, a World Bank affiliate said in a report.Employment conditions for migrants were robust for the first months of 2022, boosted by labour shortages in the hospitality and health sectors of high-income countries, while windfalls tied to higher oil prices benefitted the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which boosted demand for migrant labour from South and East Asia, noted The Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (Knomad), a World Bank initiative.Growth in remittances is expected to fall to 2% in 2023, as GDP growth in high-income countries continues to slow (from a projected 2.4% in 2022 to 1.1% in 2023), further reducing migrants’ wage gains in host countries.And downside risks, including a further deterioration in the war in Ukraine, volatile oil prices and currency exchange rates, and a deeper-than-expected downturn in major high-income countries, are substantial.The growth of remittance flows into South Asia during 2023 is expected to slow to 0.7 percent, supported by India, the report said. The year will stand as a test for the resilience of remittances from white-collar South Asian migrants in high-income countries.Higher inflation in the United States accompanied by an economic slowdown will soften remittance flows to India, with growth easing to 4%. The drop in oil prices from $98 to $85 per barrel (2002–03) combined with the decline in economic growth in the GCC will reinforce downward pressure on remittance flows to all South Asian countries.According to the World Bank – Knomad report, remittance costs remained high during the second quarter of 2022, at twice the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of 3%t. According to the World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide Database, the global average cost of sending $200 was 6% in the second quarter of 2022, not very different from the previous year.Among developing country regions, the cost was lowest in South Asia, at about 4.1%, while Sub-Saharan Africa continued to have the highest average cost, about 7.8%.Latin America and the Caribbean experienced the largest increase in total average costs, up from 5.6% to 6%, followed by Europe and Central Asia and the Middle East and North Africa.Meanwhile, the average cost of sending remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific fell. But remittance costs across many African corridors and for small islands in the Pacific remain above 10%.Banks continue to be the costliest channel for sending remittances, with an average cost of 11% during the second quarter of 2022; while post offices are recorded at 6.5%, money transfer operators at 5.2%, and mobile operators at 3.5%.Mobile operations remain the cheapest type of service provider, but they account for a small part of total transaction volumes (less than 1%).The burden of compliance with anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations continues to restrict new service providers’ access to correspondent banks.These regulations also affect migrants’ access to digital remittance services, particularly for migrants who do not have IDs. Recognising small remittances as low-risk from the viewpoint of money laundering could increase migrants’ access to digital remittance services and promote financial inclusion.That would also increase the access of new money transmitters to correspondent banking services and increase competition in the remittance markets, the World Bank – Knomad report showed.Ends
The world's oil demand is expected to increase by 2.2mn barrels per day year-on-year in 2023, Opec said in its latest monthly oil market report.The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) oil demand is forecast to increase by 0.3mn bpd. This is mostly in OECD Americas, while other OECD regions are not expected to see noticeable growth.In the non-OECD, oil demand is forecast to increase by 1.9mn bpd with China and India seeing the largest growth.This forecast assumes the successful containment of Covid-19 and a resumption of pre-pandemic economic growth in China, while India’s oil demand is projected to be supported by continued healthy economic growth.Non-Opec supply growth in 2022 was estimated at 1.9mn bpd. The main drivers of growth are estimated to have been the US, Canada, Guyana, Russia, China and Brazil.US shale oil companies continued to focus on shareholder returns, with higher production costs amid supply chain shortages and inflation limiting overall production growth.In 2023, non-Opec supply is forecast to expand by 1.5mn bpd y-o-y.US tight oil output and offshore start-ups in Latin America and the North Sea are expected to drive growth. The US is expected to lead the way with a share of about 75% of total growth, followed by Norway, Brazil, Canada, Kazakhstan and Guyana.Non-Opec upstream sector investment in 2022 was estimated at around $424bn, up around 19% y-o-y. It is forecast at $459bn in 2023, up by 8% y-o-y.Going forward, several challenges still lie ahead, Opec noted. For example, persistently high inflation may necessitate further monetary tightening measures by major central banks.Rising interest rates, it said, will be a cause for concern for countries with high sovereign debt levels.Tight labour markets, amid calls for higher wages, will add pressure, as will continued supply chain issues.However, a resolution of the geopolitical conflict in Eastern Europe and a relaxation of China’s zero-Covid policy could provide some upside potential.Global GDP growth for 2023 is forecast at 2.5%.According to Opec, the global economy continued its recovery path throughout much of 2022, albeit at varying levels among regions, and with a notable slowdown towards the end of the year.The eurozone saw unexpectedly strong growth in H1,2022 before decelerating in H2, 2022, amid rising inflation that prompted the European Central Bank monetary tightening and concerns about a possible energy crunch in the winter heating season.The US economy faced challenges in H1,2022, but recovered somewhat in H2, 2022, supported by ongoing healthy consumption levels.In the non-OECD, China’s strict zero-Covid policy has dampened GDP growth in 2022.India witnessed strong economic growth in H1,2022, but decelerated slightly in Q3,2022 amid high inflation levels. For 2022, world GDP growth was estimated at 2.8%.
**media**The first ever FIFA Football World Cup in the history of the Middle East region, which was held in Qatar, had seen flight bookings to the country skyrocketing by 77% month-on-month in November 2022 and by more than 87% compared to November 2019, latest International Air Transport Association (IATA) data reveal.In November, most travellers to Qatar came from the Middle East, rather unsurprisingly. However, compared to other regions, it equalled to only 56% increase in bookings in November 2022 when compared to the same month in 2019, IATA Economics noted.The second runner up in November (in terms of travellers to Qatar) was Europe, with a 146% increase in ticket sales compared to the same month in 2019.Similarly impressive was the 1074% increase of bookings from Central and South America, although bookings from this region were the lowest among the regions in absolute terms.In the Middle East, bookings between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Oman, as well as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, also increased because international travellers lodged in these countries and then shuttled to Qatar for specific matches.In particular, IATA noted the share of passengers booking a return flight from Saudi Arabia to Qatar with only 0-1 nights of stay increased from 5% in October to 16% in November.For the UAE, the share increased from 14% to 51%, and for Oman from 5% to 44%.Looking more closely at bookings to Qatar, ticket sales originating in Morocco – a surprising semi-finalist in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – increased considerably in the week following its national team’s knockout of Spain in the Round of 16.In particular, spontaneous bookings from Morocco to Qatar for the day of the match against Portugal increased from a total of four bookings three days prior to the match to 1171 bookings two days before the match.For the match against France, IATA data show bookings jumped from five bookings three days before to a total of 1565 bookings two days before the match.The same applies for ticket sales from Argentina, the winning team of the tournament.Once the South American country qualified for the final against football heavyweight France, bookings to Qatar almost doubled. The majority of tickets for flights before the final were purchased two days before, indicating the Argentinian fans reacted quickly to travel to Qatar to see the final match.IATA economists, however, noted their data excludes charter flights, which in fact were quite significant in Argentina, increasing the total number of visitors.Air transport is vital for international sports events, allowing people to travel and support their teams. After two and half years of travel restrictions, people are eager to travel again despite the challenging circumstances that the world is facing at present.Middle East outlook: Middle East carriers are expected to post a profit of $268mn in 2023, after an estimated loss of $1.1bn in 2022. In 2023, passenger demand growth of 23.4% is expected to outpace capacity growth of 21.2%. Over the year, the region is expected to serve 97.8% of pre-crisis demand levels with 94.5% of pre-crisis capacity.The region has benefited from a certain degree of re-routing resulting from the war in Ukraine, and more significantly so from the pent-up travel demand using the region’s extensive global networks as international travel markets re-opened.Globally, IATA expects a return to profitability for the global airline industry in 2023 as airlines continue to cut losses stemming from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic to their business in 2022.In 2023, airlines are expected to post a small net profit of $4.7bn — a 0.6% net profit margin. It is the first profit since 2019 when industry net profits were $26.4bn (3.1% net profit margin).In 2022, airline net losses are expected to be $6.9bn (an improvement on the $9.7bn loss for 2022 in IATA’s June outlook). This is significantly better than losses of $42bn and $137.7bn that were realised in 2021 and 2020 respectively.
The share of remittances to India from five GCC countries including Qatar has dropped to 28% between 2016 and 2021 (from 54% earlier) according to a World Bank report.India’s remittance receipts are on track to reach $100bn in 2022, a report by Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (Knomad), a World Bank initiative, has shown.Between 2016-17 and 2020-21, the share of remittances from the US, UK, and Singapore increased from 26% to over 36%, while the share from the five GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar) dropped from 54% to 28%, it said.The year 2022 will have been a memorable one for India as its remittance flows soar to $100bn from $89.4bn in 2021, growing at 12% compared to 7.5% in 2021.Several longer- and short-term trends that were obscured by the pandemic were catalytic in spurring remittance flows to India.First, remittances have benefited from a gradual structural shift in Indian migrants’ key destinations from largely low-skilled, informally employment in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries to a dominant share of high-skilled jobs in high-income countries such as the US, the UK, and East Asia (Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand).With a share of 23% of total remittances, the US surpassed the UAE as the top source country in 2020-21. About 20% of India’s emigrants are in the US and the UK.According to the US Census, of the approximately 5mn Indians in the US in 2019, about 57% had lived in the nation for more than 10 years.During this time, many earned graduate degrees that groomed them to move rapidly into the highest-income-earner category.The Indian diaspora in the US is highly skilled. In 2019, 43% of Indian-born residents of the US had a graduate degree, compared to only 13% of US-born residents.Only 15% of Indian-born residents aged 25 and older had no more than a high school degree, compared to 39% of US-born residents in that age group.Meanwhile, 82% of all Indians in the US (compared to 72% of all Asians) and 77% of foreign-born Indians were proficient in English.Higher education mapped on to high income levels with direct implications for remittance flows. In 2019, the median household income for Indians in the US was nearly $120,000 compared to about $70,000 for all Americans.The structural shift in qualifications and destinations has accelerated growth in remittances tied to high-salaried jobs, especially in services, the World Bank report showed.During the pandemic, Indian migrants in high-income countries worked from home and benefited from large fiscal stimulus packages.Post pandemic, wage hikes and record-high employment conditions supported remittance growth in the face of high inflation.Second, the economic conditions in the GCC (30% share of India’s remittances) also played out in India’s favour. The majority of the GCC’s Indian migrants are blue-collar workers who returned home during the pandemic.Vaccinations and the resumption of travel helped more migrants to resume work in 2022 than in 2021. GCC’s price support policies kept inflation low in 2022, and higher oil prices increased demand for labour, enabling Indian migrants to increase remittances and counter the impact of India’s record-high inflation on the real incomes of their families.Third, Indian migrants may have taken advantage of the depreciation of the Indian rupee vis-à-vis the dollar (10% between January and September 2022) and increased remittance flows, World Bank noted.
The Qatari banking sector's total assets increased by 0.9% MoM (up 0.9% in 2022) to reach QR1.845tn in November 2022, according to QNB Financial Services (QNBFS).Total loan book went up by 0.3% MoM (up 0.5% in 2022) and deposits moved up by 0.4% MoM (-1.6% in 2022) in November, QNBFS ‘Qatar Monthly Key Banking Indicators’ showed Monday.The private sector pushed the overall credit higher (up 0.8% MoM in November). As deposits gained by 0.4% in November, the LDR edged down to 127.6% vs 127.8% in October 2022.The overall loan book went up by 0.3% in November to reach QR1,222.9bn.Loans increase in November was mainly due to a rise by 0.8% from the private sector (+5.2% in 2022).Loans have gone up by 0.5% in 2022, compared to a growth of 7.8% in 2021. Loans grew by an average 7.6% over the past five years (2017-2021).The real estate, services and general trade segments were the main contributors toward the private sector loan growth for the month of November.The real estate segment (contributes nearly 22% to private sector loans) increased by 2.0% MoM (+8.7% in 2022).Services (contributes nearly 29% to private sector loans) went up by 0.7% MoM (+8.5% in 2022).General trade (contributes nearly 20% to private sector loans) gained 0.9% MoM (0.8% in 2022), while consumption and others (contributes nearly 21% to private sector loans) moved up by 0.2% MoM (+5.1% in 2022) during November.Outside Qatar loans declined by 2.9% MoM (-10.4% in 2022) during November.Domestic public sector loans went down slightly by 0.2% MoM (-6.9% in 2022). The government segment (represents nearly 30% of public sector loans) dropped by 0.9% MoM (-25.5% in 2022), while the semi-government institutions’ segment declined by 1.1% MoM (+1.1% in 2022).However, the government institutions’ segment (represents nearly 65% of public sector loans) loan book increased by 0.2% MoM (+4.5% in 2022).Deposits went up by 0.4% during November to reach QR958.2bn, QNBFS noted.Deposits gain in November was due to a 2.3% increase in private sector deposits. Deposits have gone down by 1.6% in 2022, compared to a growth of 7.6% in 2021. Deposits grew by an average 6.1% over the past five years (2017-2021)Private sector deposits moved higher by 2.3% MoM (+11.9% in 2022), pushing up the overall Qatar banking sector deposits for the month, QNBFS noted.On the private sector front, the companies and institutions segment rose 4.6% MoM (+23.8% in 2022). Meanwhile, the consumer segment went down slightly by 0.1% MoM (+1.9% in 2022) during November.Public sector deposits moved up marginally by 0.1% MoM (+10.2% in 2022) for the month of November 2022. Looking at segment details, the semi-government institutions’ segment had a huge jump by 15.9% MoM (+28.1% in 2022).However, the government institutions’ segment (represents nearly 60% of public sector deposits) declined by 3.1% MoM (+25.8% in 2022), while the government segment (represents nearly 25% of public sector deposits) edged lower by 0.1% MoM (-20.1% in 2022).Non-resident deposits continued its sharp fall for the year and fell by 3.3% MoM (-33.3% in 2022) in November 2022.An analyst said: “Assets increased by 0.9% mainly as domestic assets (predominantly domestic credit and domestic investments) increased by 1% and foreign assets (largely due from banks abroad and investments abroad) went up by 1.4%.“Loans went up by 0.3% mainly due to the private sector (real estate up by 2.0%, services up by 0.7% and general trade up by 0.9%). Deposits gained by 0.4% mainly due to the private sector (companies and institutions up by 4.6%).”