Qatar's trade surplus soared 86.8% year-on-year during the first quarter (Q1) of this year as the country's exports grew much faster than imports, according to the official statistics.
Asia remained the principal destination of Qatar’s exports and the first origin of imports as the country saw QR74.61bn trade surplus on trade volumes of QR132.92bn during Q1-2022, said the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) data.
During Q1-2022, the value of Qatar’s total exports (including exports of domestic goods and re-exports) amounted to QR103.8bn, which increased 62.2% and 3.8% year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter respectively.
The yearly jump in total exports was mainly due to a 65.5% surge in the shipments of mineral fuels (QR35bn), 57.1% in chemicals and related products (QR3.4bn), 1013.4% in crude materials, inedible, except fuels (QR0.8bn), 30.2% in manufactured goods classified chiefly by material (QR0.6bn) and 83.3% in food and live animals (QR0.03bn).
On other hand, there was a 2.1% decline in machinery and transport equipment valued at QR0.05bn and 2.2% in miscellaneous manufactured articles (QR0.01bn).
The value of Qatar’s imports during Q1-2022 was QR 29.2bn; which increased 21.3% and 2% on a yearly and quarterly basis respectively.
The Q2-2022 year-on-year jump in imports values is mainly due to a 39.7% increase in miscellaneous manufactured articles valued at QR1.7bn, 13.7% in machinery and transport equipment (QR1.2bn), 299.5% in mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (QR0.6bn), 21.2% in chemicals and related Products (QR0.55bn) and 14.3% in manufactured goods classified chiefly by material (QR0.52bn).
The Asian region was the principal destination of Qatar’s exports and the first origin of Qatar’s imports, representing 75.5% and 41.3% respectively; followed by the European Union, accounting for 14.4% and 28.5% respectively; and the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council), with 5.4% and 5.8% respectively.
Trade volume and balance with Asia stood at QR90.35bn and QR66.24bn respectively, European Union (QR23.28bn and QR6.69bn), the GCC (QR7.31bn and QR3.92bn), and the US (QR5.07bn and -QR2.45bn) during Q1-2022.
In its World Investment Report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development had noted Qatar's “normalisation of relations with the three GCC members will improve investment prospects for Qatar specifically and likely to boost intraregional flows.”
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 tradable goods.
Trade volume and balance with Oceania amounted to QR1.08bn and -QR0.18bn respectively during Q1-2022; Africa (except Arab countries) QR1.21bn and QR0.52bn; other American countries (QR1.21bn and -QR0.15bn); and other Arab countries (QR0.98bn and QR0.07bn.
The trade balance and volume of Qatar with other countries not specified amounted to QR0.69bn respectively during the review period.
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