Qatar’s crude oil production decreased to 683,000 bpd in November from 639,000bpd in October, QNB Economics has said in its “Monthly Monitor’.
Brent crude oil prices fell to $34.7 a barrel at the end of January compared to $37.3 a month earlier, QNB Economics said.
“We expect oil prices to stabilise as excess supply in the global market is reduced by both higher demand and production cuts among high-cost producers, such as US shale oil producers,” the report said.
The foreign merchandise trade surplus fell to $2.6bn in December 2015 from $3bn in November, and is down from $5.8bn a year earlier.
The year-on-year decline was mostly due to the fall in exports, which fell 36.9% year-on-year on lower oil prices and imports also contracted by 1% over the same period.
“We expect the merchandise trade surplus to stabilise in 2016 in line with oil prices,” QNB Economics said.
The overall balance of payments recorded a small deficit of $1.7bn in Q3, 2015, leading to a decrease in international reserves.
The current account surplus narrowed to $2.8bn in Q3, 2015 on lower hydrocarbon exports; the capital and financial account recorded a deficit of $3.9bn over the same period.
“We expect the current account surplus to narrow in 2015, before stabilising in 2016-
17,” QNB Economics said.
International reserves fell to $38.5bn in November 2015 compared with $39.1bn in October.
In months of prospective import cover, international reserves were broadly stable at 6.7 months of imports from 6.8 months in October.
“We expect international reserves to stabilise at around seven months of import cover going forward as oil prices stabilise then recover in 2017,” QNB Economics said.
The Qatar Central Bank real estate index rose by 14.3% year-on-year in December 2015, slowing down from 17.8% in November. The real estate price index contracted by 5.9% in December 2015 compared to a month earlier, according to the QCB, QNB Economics said.
Meanwhile, the report showed inflation rose to 2.8% in January from 2.7% in December.
Housing and utilities price inflation (21.9% weight in the CPI basket) rose by 6% in January (compared with 3.4% in December), recreation and culture price (12.7% weight) by 6.1% in January (compared with 1.6% in December) while food and beverages price inflation (12.6% weight) fell to -1.4% in January from 0.7% in December.
“We expect inflation to pick up on the projected recovery in international food prices in 2016 and higher oil prices in 2017,” QNB Economics said.
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