Qatar Chamber (QC) released their monthly newsletter for July, which highlighted the most prominent trends in the Qatari economy, as well as statistics related to foreign trade and trade of private sector in May 2020.

The report, prepared by the Researches and Studies Department of Qatar Chamber, highlighted the conference, Developing Partnership between Public and Private Sectors, held on 7 July via video conferencing and held under the patronage of the Minister of Commerce and Industry, HE Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari and Qatar Chamber Chairman, HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani.

The QC report included figures from the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA). Total value of foreign merchandise trade in May reached QAR21.2 billion, which increased by 9.8% from QAR19.3 billion in April. The state’s foreign trade has grown to normal level before the pandemic, backed by an increase in the value of exports and imports.

Total Imports / Exports as of May 2020

Qatar Chamber report 2In May 2020, the total exports (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) reached QAR13.3 billion, an increase of 12.7% compared to QAR11.8 billion in April; while import during the same month reached about QAR7.9 billion, recording an increase of 5.3% compared to QAR7.5 billion in April.

Therefore, the foreign merchandise trade balance, which represents the difference between total exports and imports, showed a surplus of QAR5.4 billion, recording an increase of 25.5% compared to QAR4.3 billion in April.

In May 2020, South Korea was on top of destination countries for Qatar’s exports with close to QAR2.12 billion, a share of 15.8% of total exports; followed by China with almost QAR1.870 billion and a share of 14.1 %; and followed by Japan, India and USA.

With regards to Qatar imports based on country of origin (May), the US was the leading country with about QAR2.12 billion, a share of 26.7% of the total imports which amounted to QAR7.9 billion; followed by UK with almost QAR1.305 billion, a share of 16.5%; and China with QAR1.057 billion, a share of 13.4%.

Germany comes in fourth place with about QAR0.345 billion, a share of 4.4%; followed by Turkey with QAR0.291 billion, a share of 3.6% of the total value.

Private Sector Trading

The Qatar Chamber report also featured trading by private sector covering the month of May, based on the certificate of origin issued by the Chamber.

Private sector exports in May increased by 7% – QAR609.6 million compared to QAR572.2 million in April. Exports during May through GSP is the largest value, increasing by (126%) than the value of April, followed by exports through GCC model by 18% and the General Model by 6%.

Data included in the report showed that the chemical fertilisers group came first in the private sector exports’ list at QAR40 million, recording a sharp increase of 34% compared to April.

The second was helium gas and industrial gas group, with exports amounting to QAR130 million, an increase of 319% compared to QAR31 million in April; followed by chemical substances with QAR72 million compared to QAR53 million in April, an increase of 35%.

Petrochemical exports came in third, with exports reaching QAR15 million, compared to QAR13 million in April.

Qatar Chamber report 1

Lesser Exports 

Many commodities also saw a decrease in May, such as steel, paraffin, essential oils and industrial oils. In May 2020, India was the top destination for countries for private sector exports with close to QAR178 million, a share of 29% of the total exports.

Oman is in second place with almost QAR98 million and a share of 16%, followed by Turkey with about QAR53 million, a share of 9%. UK and Norway came in fourth and fifth place, respectively.