A surge in value of crude exports, ahead of the January 1 deadline for production cuts, helped Qatar's trade surplus reach QR10.75bn in December 2016, showing a stupendous 21.7% growth year-on-year and 10.7% month-on-month.
Japan, South Korea, India, China and Singapore were among the largest export markets of Qatar, while imports mainly came from the US, the UAE, China, Japan and Germany in December 2016, figures released by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics showed.
Higher exports and lower imports had resulted in Qatar's month-on-month gain in trade surplus, while on a yearly basis, imports decelerated much faster than exports.
A robust expansion in shipments to Singapore and China led the country’s total exports (valued free-on-board) grow 2.6% month-on-month to QR19.29bn. On a yearly basis, total exports had fallen 2.6%.
The country’s total exports of domestic products increased 3.5% month-on-month to QR18.58bn in December 2016, while it recorded 3% slump year-on-year.
Qatar's exports of petroleum oil and oils obtained from bituminous materials (crude) reported faster month-on-month expansion of 13.2% to QR3.39bn, petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons by 1.9% to QR11.86bn and other commodities by 0.8% to QR2.4bn, while those of non-crude had fallen 0.5% to QR0.94bn.
Against December 2015 levels, Qatar's exports of other commodities, petroleum gases and crude plunged 26.5%, 6.6% and 4.6% respectively; while those of crude shot up 52.9%.
Petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons constituted 63.83% of total exports of domestic products in December 2016 compared to 66.25% a year-ago period; crude 18.24% (11.53%), non-crude 5.06% (5.11%) and other commodities 12.92% (17.01%).
On exports destinations, Japan accounted for 17% of total exports from Qatar in December 2016, followed by South Korea 16%, India and China 12% each, and Singapore 8%.
Qatar's exports to Singapore grew 58.51% month-to-month to QR1.49bn and China by 19.47% to QR2.27bn, while those to Japan fell 8.49% to QR3.34bn and India by 5.02% to QR2.27bn. Shipments to South Korea were rather flat at QR3.09bn.
Against December 2015 levels, Doha's exports to Singapore more than doubled, those to China and South Korea expanded 25.41% and 20.23% respectively. Shipments to Japan and India declined 24.6% and 8.84% respectively.
The country's re-exports were valued at QR0.7bn in December 2016, a 17% month-on-month plunge but a 9.8% increase year-on-year.
An acerbic decrease in imports from Germany, Japan and China led Qatar's total imports (valued at cost insurance and freight) fall 6.1% month-on-month to QR8.54bn in December 2016. The country's total imports sunk 22.2% on a yearly basis.
The US accounted for 14% of Qatar's imports in December 2016, followed by the UAE (11%), China (10%), and Japan and Germany (6% each).
Qatar's imports from Germany tanked 53.23% to QR0.51bn, Japan by 32.21% to QR0.52bn and China by 9.37% to QR0.82bn, whereas those from the US increased 24.03% to QR1.16bn and the UAE by 13.56% to QR0.96bn.
Against December 2015 levels, shipments from Germany, Japan, China and the US had fallen 42.89%, 40.92%, 34.4% and 2.52% respectively, while those from the UAE grew 7.36%.
Motor cars, electrical apparatus for line telephony and parts of aircraft and helicopters comprised the main components in Qatar's import basket in December 2016.
The import of aircraft and helicopters parts fell 13.5% to QR0.18bn, motorcars by 11.4% to QR0.68bn, electrical apparatus for line telephony by 5.5% to QR0.22bn and other commodities by 5.3% to QR7.46bn.
On a yearly basis, the imports of parts for aircraft and helicopters, motorcars, other commodities and electrical apparatus for line telephony had plummeted 79.9%, 38.6%, 14.5% and 11.1% respectively in December 2016.