DOHA: Qatar’s foreign merchandise trade surplus (the difference between total exports and imports) has declined 53.7 percent in March 2015 compared to same period last year. According to preliminary figures released by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics, the trade balance of goods showed a surplus of QR19.1bn, a fall of QR16.5bn compared to March 2014. The fall was due to lower exports of petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons.
However, the trade balance of goods decreased by QR1.7bn, or 9.6 percent, compared to February 2015. In March 2015, the total exports of goods (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) amounted to QR26.6bn, showing a decrease of 40.7 percent compared to March 2014. However, the total exports of goods decreased by 3.3 percent compared to February 2015.
The year on year decrease in total exports was mainly due to lower exports of Petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons (LNG, condensates, propane, butane, etc.) reaching QR17.4bn in March 2015, a decrease of 43.5 percent, Petroleum oils & oils from bituminous minerals (crude) reaching QR3.5bn (52.1 percent) and Petroleum oils & oils from bituminous minerals (not crude) reaching QR1.2bn (36.9 percent).
On the other hand, the imports of goods in March 2015 amounted to QR10.1 bn, showing an increase of 9.9 percent over March 2014. However, on a month on month basis the imports increased by 9 percent. In March 2015, Japan was at the top of the countries of destination of Qatar’s exports with QR6bn, a share of 22.6 percent of total exports, followed by South Korea with QR4.9bn (18.4 percent) and India with QR2.6bn (9.6 percent).
During March 2015, Motor cars & other passenger vehicles was at the top of the imported group of commodities, with QR 1bn, showing an increase of 16.5 percent compared to March 2014. In second place was Parts of aircraft and helicopters etc. with QR0.6bn, showing a decrease of 21.5 percent, and in third place was Electrical apparatus for line telephony/telegraphy, telephone sets etc with QR0.4bn, increased by 77.1 percent. In March 2015, China was the leading country of origin of Qatar’s imports with QR1.2bn, a share of 11.7 percent of the imports, followed by US with QR1.1bn (10.9 percent), and United Arab Emirates with QR0.9 bn (9.1 percent).