Hydrocarbon export decline squeezes trade surplus

Qatar is experiencing a decline in the value of its hydrocarbon exports, which in turn, is putting a squeeze on its trade surplus

Qatar's hydocarbon exports are down, impacting on its trade surplus as exports increase.
Qatar's hydocarbon exports are down, impacting on its trade surplus as exports increase.

While Qatar is congratulating itself on the growth of it non-hydrocarbon sector, its trade surplus shrank by a sizable 48.3% in January 2015, from a year ago as the value of its exports – largely natural gas and oil – declined, while imports continued to grow.

Qatar’s Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS) showed total exports decreased by 36.7% from a year ago. On the other hand, January 2015’s imports touched QAR9.7bn, an increase of 10.2% from a year ago.

The export value of petroleum and other gases declined by 37.5% to QAR19.4bn in January 2015, year-on-year. Petroleum oils and oils from bituminous minerals (crude) fell a hefty 58.8% to QAR3bn and petroleum oils and oils from non-crude dropped 38.4% to QAR0.9bn on (crude) year-on-year, The Peninsula reports.

On month-to-month, both exports and imports decreased in January, the former by 16.5% compared to December 2014. Imports in January 2015 decreased by 12.5% from December.

Japan headed the destination for Qatar exports, accounting for 24.2%, to a value of QAR6.8bn, while China was the country of origin for Qatar’s imports, coming in at QAR1.1bn, a share of 11.3% of total imports.

In January 2015 the trade balance showed a surplus of QAR18.5bn compared to January 2014. The trade balance decreased by QAR4.2bn or 18.4% compared to December 2014.


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