Qatar’s economy experiences a promising change in exports

Qatar’s economy is witnessing an escalation in the number of exported goods, highlighting the country’s recovery from the pandemic-induced slowdown.

Qatar’s export of goods have increased exponentially over the past few months, amounting to over 30bn QAR showing a dramatic increase of 96.38% compared to the 15.3bn QAR in October 2020 and an increase of 7.28% compared to the 28bn QAR of September 2021, as reported by the Qatar Chamber (QC) .

QC recently released a detailed report on the country’s foreign trade in October 2021, with a specific focus on private sector exports. According to the report, private sector exports amounted to 2.3bn QAR during that month, showing a yearly increase of 85% compared to the 1.24bn QAR in October 2020.

The changes represent an optimistic recovery for Qatar, in light of the economic downturn effect that had inflicted the country’s economy due to the pandemic.

QC’s report states that the imports of goods during the month amounted to approximately 8.9bn QAR, displaying an increase of 7.63% on a year-to-year basis compared to the 8.27bn QAR, in October 2020. Qatar’s foreign merchandise trade balance, which is calculated by finding the difference between total exports and imports, amounted to over 20bn QAR, showing an increase of 200% compared to the 7.048bn QAR, in October 2020.

Such sharp year-to-year change is indicative of the country’s efforts to shift the tides in spite of the pandemic-imposed high inflation.

The highest value of exports seen since the peak of the pandemic in 2020 was QR 1.954bn QAR. However, with the sudden shifts, the country’s private sector exports witnessed an increase of 17.9% in October 2021.

The report noted that in October 2021, private sector exports to non-GCC countries, increased by 39.5% on a monthly basis and by 98.5% on a year-to-year basis. However, to GCC member states, exports decreased by 85.7 percent on a monthly basis, while they increased by 413 percent on a yearly basis.

QC’s report added that there were five major export trade partners. In October, India was the top receiver of Qatar’s exports with an amount of 4.086bn QAR, a share of 13.6% of total exports, followed by South Korea with almost 4bn QAR and a share of 12.8% and Japan with approximately 3.619bn QAR, amounting to a share of 12%. Then came China with almost 3.4bn QAR and a share of 11.4% whilst the UK came in fifth place, with 2.495bn QAR and a share of 8.3%.

The report outlined some of the exported commodities which included steel, industrial gases, Aluminum, Paraffin, chemical substances, essential and industrial oils, Lotrene, Petrochemicals, and Chemical fertilizers.

In October 2021, exports of Steel massively increased by 1946% on a monthly basis and by 1746% on a yearly basis. Industrial gases exports sharply went up by 659% on a monthly basis and by 193% on a yearly basis. Aluminum exports increased by 140% on a monthly basis, and by 106% on a yearly basis.

Additionally, Paraffin exports increased by 46.4% on a monthly basis and 811.2% on a yearly basis. Chemical substances exports grew by 39.2$ on a monthly basis and by 141$ on a yearly basis.

Finally, Lotrene exports went down by 40% on a monthly basis, while they increased by 25.3% on a yearly basis. Petrochemicals reduced by 22% on a monthly basis, and by 91.4% on a yearly basis. Chemical fertilizers exports also decreased albeit by smaller percentage of 3.5% on a monthly basis, however they grew by 240.1% on a yearly basis.