Asia remained the principal destination of Qatar’s exports and the first origin of imports as the country saw QR24.7bn trade balance on trade volumes of QR73.41bn during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020, according to the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) data.
The Asian region constituted 80.7% of Qatar’s exports and 41.7% of imports; followed by the European Union (7.6% and 29.9%); the Gulf Co-operation Council or GCC (5.8% and 3.3%), the US (2% and 14.1%), Africa except Arab countries ((1% and 0.8%) and Oceania (0.3% and 1.9%).
The trade surplus deterioration year-on-year was felt mostly during the second quarter after which the declines progressively got reduced.
The trade volume and balance with Asia were QR49.74bn and QR29.44bn respectively in Q4-20, European Union (QR11.03bn and -QR3.56bn), the US (QR4.39bn and -QR2.46bn) and the GCC (QR3.66bn and QR2.04bn) in the review period.
In Q4-20, Asia constituted 67.75% of Qatar’s trade volume, the European Union (15.03%), the US (5.98%) and the GCC (4.99%).
Market sources are of optimistic that Qatar’s trade volume with the GCC countries could improve in view of the lifting of the embargo but would depend on Covid-19, even as trade of essentials were largely unhampered even at the peak of pandemic in 2020.
Qatar's trade volume and balance with other European countries stood at QR1.21bn and -QR0.9bn, other American countries (QR1bn and -QR0.08bn), African -except Arab countries (QR0.69bn and QR0.3bn) and Oceania (QR0.59bn and -QR0.32bn) in Q4-20.
In Q4-2020, the value of Qatar’s total exports (including exports of domestic goods and re-exports) amounted to QR49.1bn, which decreased 25.4% year-on-year but witnessed 19.4% growth quarter-on-quarter.
The Q4-2020 year-on-year decrease in total exports was mainly due to a 29.7% plunge in shipments of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, 90.5% in crude materials inedible except fuels and 38.3% in manufactured goods classified chiefly by material.
On other hand, increases was recorded mainly in miscellaneous manufactured articles (174.1%), chemicals and related products (10.2%) and food and live animals (16.7%).
The value of Qatar’s imports in Q4-20 was QR 24.4bn; which fell 10.9% on a yearly basis even as it increased by 13.4% on a quarterly basis.
The Q4-20 year-on-year decrease in imports values is mainly due to a 45.9% shrinkage in the imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, 53% in crude materials, inedible except fuels and 24% in miscellaneous manufactured articles and 7.6% in machinery and transport equipment.
Nevertheless, there was a 4.3% increase in the imports of manufactured goods classified chiefly by material, and 19% in animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes.
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