A precipitous expansion in shipments to South Korea and China helped Qatar's total exports to make a modest growth, thus leading to an about 7% year-on-year rise in trade surplus to QR15.88bn in December 2018, according to official estimates.
The country's trade surplus however registered a 2% fall on monthly basis, said the figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority.
In absolute terms, South Korea, Japan, China, India and Singapore were among the largest export markets of Qatar; while imports mainly came from the US, China, the UK, Germany and India in the review period.
In December 2018, total exports of goods (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) amounted to QR25.43bn, showing a decrease of 1.9% compared to December 2017 and a 1.1% against November 2018.
The exports of petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons soared 15.9% year-on-year to QR16.63bn, while those of crude declined 47.6% to QR3.38bn, non-crude by 2.4% to QR1.66bn and other commodities by 2.1% to QR2.76bn.
On a monthly basis, the country's shipments of petroleum gases and other commodities had risen 7.7% and 3.1%; while those of crude and non-crude declined 22.6% and 17.5% respectively.
Petroleum gases constituted 68.07% of the exports of domestic products compared to 56.63% a year ago period, followed by crude 13.84% (25.51%), non-crude 6.79% (6.71%) and other commodities 11.3% (11.14%).
In December last year, Qatar's shipments to South Korea stood at QR4.98bn, thus accounting for 19.6% of the total exports, followed by Japan QR4.37bn (17.2%), China QR3.66bn (14.4%), India QR2.91bn (11.4%) and Singapore QR1.67bn (6.6%).
On a yearly basis, Qatar's exports to South Korea had reported a 30.37% surge and those to China by 12.62%; whereas those to Singapore plummeted 47.98%, Japan 12.6% and India 11.28%; while on a monthly basis, shipments to China and South Korea grew 33.09% and 9.21%, even as those to Singapore declined 21.6%, Japan 5.82% and India 2.35%.
The country's re-exports amounted to QR1bn in December 2018, which witnessed a 69% growth on a yearly basis, but fell 17.4% month-on-month.
Qatar's total imports (valued at cost insurance and freight) amounted to QR9.54bn, which showed a 13.3% contraction against December 2017 but was up 0.3% month-on-month.
In December 2018, the US was the leading country of origin of Qatar's imports worth QR1.68bn, a share of 17.7% of the total, followed by China QR1.12bn (11.8%), the UK QR0.81bn (8.5%), Germany QR0.66bn (6.9%) and India QR0.55bn (5.8%).
On a yearly basis, Doha's imports from the US plunged 46.84%, China 24.83%, Germany 4.34% and India 2.31%; while those to the UK showed a 47.37% increase. On a monthly basis, shipments from the UK and India had reported 69.87% and 25% growth; while those from the US fell 12.04%, China 8.94% and Germany 1.34%.
During December 2018, turbojets, motor cars and parts of aircraft were at the top of the imported group of commodities. The import of turbojets were valued at QR0.42bn, which showed a year-on-year increase of 43% and parts of aircraft at QR0.35bn, which rose 21.8%; whereas the imports of motorcars fell 2.6% to QR0.37bn and other commodities by 16.4% to QR8.4bn.
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