Qatar's trade surplus witnessed a robust 19% growth year-on-year in the first quarter (Q1) of this year as the country's economy rebounded, mainly on the back of non-oil private sector, according to the official statistics.
Asia remained the principal destination of Qatar’s exports and the first origin of imports as the country saw QR39.94bn trade surplus on trade volumes of QR88.01bn during Q1, 2021, said the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) data.
The Asian region was the principal destination of Qatar’s exports and the first origin of Qatar’s imports, representing 81.8% and 40.7% respectively; followed by the European Union, accounting for 7.7% and 31.8% respectively; and the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council), with 4.1% and 3.2% respectively.
The trade volume and balance with Asia were QR62.13bn and QR42.56bn respectively in Q1, 20, European Union (QR12.56bn and -QR2.73bn), the GCC (QR3.39bn and QR1.85bn), and the US (QR4.68bn and -QR0.84bn) in the review period.
In Q1, the trade volume and balance with Oceania were QR0.69bn and -QR0.03bn; Africa (except Arab countries) were QR0.58bn and QR0.33bn; other American countries were QR0.89bn and -QR0.27bn); and other Arab countries were QR1.01bn and -QR0.18bn.
The trade balance and volume of Qatar with other countries not specified amounted to QR0.45bn respectively in the review period.
Market sources are of optimistic that Qatar’s trade volume with the GCC region has the potential to improve with the inoculation drive gathering pace across the region.
An International Monetary Fund paper had earlier said given that low intra-GCC trade is mostly due to similar economic structures of the member countries, the greater regional trade can be boosted by diversifying the economy toward tradables.
In Q1 2021, the value of Qatar’s total exports (including exports of domestic goods and re-exports) amounted to QR63.98n, which increased 7.5% and 30.4% year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter respectively.
The Q1 year-on-year jump in total exports was mainly due to a 5.5% growth in the shipments of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, 37.2% in chemicals and related products, 32.1% in machinery and transport equipment.
On other hand, decline was recorded mainly in miscellaneous manufactured articles (63.2%), and food and live animals (33.3%).
The value of Qatar’s imports in Q1, 2021 was QR 24bn; which declined 7.3% and 1.4% on a yearly and quarterly basis respectively.
The Q1, 2021 year-on-year decrease in imports values is mainly due to a 15.3% shrinkage in the imports of machinery and transport equipment, 29.2% in crude materials (except fuels) and 9.1% in manufactured products.
Nevertheless, there was 10.1% expansion in the imports of chemicals and related products and 2.7% in food and live animals.