The value of private sector exports last year increased by 77.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach QR26.4bn over QR14.9bn in 2020, and by 21.7% compared to QR21.7bn in 2019.
This was revealed by Qatar Chamber in its economic report for 2021, which highlights private sector trade, according to the certificates of origin issued by the chamber. The report was prepared by the chamber’s Research & Studies Department.
This surge, the report said, confirmed the significant recovery of private sector activity and Qatar’s economy from the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic as it reached to levels better than those before the application of precautionary measures.
The y-o-y growth in private sector exports in 2021 was attributed to the increase in exports through all types of certificates of origin issued by the chamber in relation to 2020 and 2019, except for the GPS Model, which declined by 63.5% and 79.5%, respectively.
In turn, exports through the General Model grew by 109% and 46.4% compared to their values in 2020 and 2019. Similarly, exports through the GCC Unified Model jumped 142.1% and 139.2% compared to their values in 2020 and 2019.
Exports though the Unified Arab Model grew by 43.7% and 20.6% compared to 2020 and 2019. Exports through the Unified Model to Singapore in 2021 saw a substantial 638.7% growth compared to their values in 2020 and by 570.1% compared to 2019.
The report said the value of exports of eight commodities recorded growth compared to their values in 2019 and 2020, while the only exports that decreased are from petrochemicals.
In 2021, essential and industrial oils exports reached QR8.15bn, recording a 97% y-o-y growth over 2020 and 24% compared to 2019. Aluminium exports reached QR6.1bn in 2021, showing an increase of 60.5% compared to QR3.8 bn in 2020. Industrial gases amounted to QR3.33bn, followed by chemical substances (QR1.7bn), lotrene exports (QR1.33bn), and steel exports (QR1.3bn).
Asian countries were at the top of economic blocs that received private sector exports in 2021 worth QR12.5bn with a share of 47.6% of the total value, followed by GCC countries, excluding GCC states, with a 25.3% share on exports of QR6.7bn.
EU states, with exports totalling QR4.9bn, represented 18.5% of the total value. Arab countries, excluding GCC, states received QR1.4bn or a 5.3% share, while the African Countries Group, excluding Arab countries, registered exports worth QR331mn or 1.3% of the total exports.
Other European countries’ exports reached QR307mn (1.2% share), followed by the US (QR193mn, 0.7%), Other American countries (QR57.8mn, 0.2%), and Oceania (QR5.97mn, 0.02%).
Citing figures from the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) for 2021, the report said Qatar’s foreign merchandise trade stood at QR419.6bn, recording a 49.4% y-o-y increase over QR281.5bn in 2020 and 12.89% compared to QR371.7bn in 2019.
This surge was mainly due to the increase of exports, which grew by 69.31% and imports, which increased 8.65% compared to 2020. When comparing with 2019, exports increased by 19.56%, while imports declined by 3.80%. Therefore, the country’s foreign merchandise trade balance rose in 2021 by 130.36% and 35.15% when compared to 2020 and 2019.
The report said 2021 witnessed a steady growth in all foreign trade indicators linked to the trade balance based on the quarterly analysis of data. The PSA said the total value of foreign trade increased by 8.7% in Q2 2021 compared to Q1 because of the 10.8% increase of exports during the said period, with a slight increase in the value of imports, which grew by 3.1%.
Similarly, the total value of foreign trade increased in Q3 by 12.2% compared to Q2 because of the 16.5% increase in the value of exports, while the value of imports declined by 0.1%. In Q4 2021, Qatar’s total foreign trade grew by 19.8% compared to Q3, driven by the 21.1% increase in exports and the 15.5% increase in imports.
Therefore, the country’s foreign merchandise trade balance, which represents the difference between total exports and imports, showed an increase of 15.4% in Q2 compared with Q1. It also increased by 25.4% in Q3 compared to Q2, and by 23.5% in Q4 compared to Q3.
In 2021, Asia was the principal destination of Qatar’s exports and the first origin of Qatar’s imports in 2021 amounting to QR278.3bn, followed by the EU with a total trade value worth QR70.6bn. GCC states followed with trade totalling QR25.1mn, the US with QR18.4bn, and Other American Countries with QR7.5bn.
Other European Countries’ trade volume amounted to QR7.2bn, followed by Arab Countries, excluding GCC states, with QR3.8bn, Oceania (QR3.8bn), Other African Countries, excluding Arab Countries, (QR2.9bn), and Other Countries (QR2.1bn). In 2021, China was the top country of destination of Qatar’s foreign trade with about QR65,874bn and a 15.7% share of the state’s total foreign trade.