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
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.