The monthly economic newsletter of Qatar Chamber highlights the most prominent trends in the Qatar economy, as well as the statistics related to foreign trade and trading in the private sector in May 2021. The newsletter was prepared by their Research and Studies Department.

According to figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority for May 2021, the total value of foreign merchandise trade in Qatar amounted to QAR33.2 billion, an increase of 14.1% compared to April (QAR29.1 billion).

In May 2021, the total exports of goods (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) amounted to around QAR24.9 billion, an increase of 19.1% compared to QAR20.9 billion in April. The imports of goods during May amounted to QAR8.3 billion, a slight growth of 1.2% compared to QAR8.2 billion in April.

The country’s foreign merchandise trade balance, which represents the difference between total exports and imports, showed a surplus of QAR16.6 billion, equivalent to an increase of 29.9% compared to QAR12.8 billion in April.

China was on top of the countries of destination of Qatar’s foreign trade, with about QAR5 billion, a share of 15.1% of the state’s total foreign trade.

Private Sector May 2021

Private sector growth exceeds pre-pandemic levels

Trading of the private sector in May according to the certificate of origin issued by Qatar Chamber, exceeded QAR2.57 billion, showing a month-on-month increase of 24.20% compared to QAR2.069 billion in the previous month; while on a year-on-year basis increased by 321% compared to QAR0.609 billion as in May 2020.

This increase demonstrated that the national economy has recovered from the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and that growth in Qatar’s private sector has exceeded its pre-pandemic levels.

In May, private sector exports grew by 31.6% compared to QAR1.953 billion in February 2020, which registered the highest value of exports from the beginning of 2020, while it increased by 349.3% compared to QAR572 million in April 2020, which represented the lowest value during this period.

The increase in private sector exports in May is attributed to the year-on-year increase compared to the same month last year through most of all certificate models except for exports through the GSP Model which decreased by 20.9%.

Exports through the GCC to Singapore model also recorded a sharp increase of 1021%, followed by exports through the General model which increased by 453%, Unified GCC model which increased by 444% and exports through the Unified Arab model which increased by 48.8%.

On a monthly basis, exports of the private sector in May 2021 through the GSP Model and GCC to Singapore model increased by 215% and 175% compared to April 2021, followed by the General model which increased by 32.88%. Exports through the Unified Arab model and Unified GCC decreased by 9.08% and 1.48%, respectively.

Types of commodities, economic groupings

According to the type of commodities, the private sector’s exports of essential and industrial oils topped the list of exports which increased by 184% compared to the previous month, followed by steel which increased by 17.1%.

On the other hand, exports of other commodities such as aluminium, industrial gases, lutreine, chemical fertilisers, petrochemicals, paraffin, and chemical substances decreased by 14.7%, 58.7%, 32.3%, 86.3%, 20% and 10.2%, respectively.


As for economic blocs and groupings, EU countries were at the top of economic blocs that received exports from the private sector – QAR1045.3 million, a share of 40.7% of the total value, followed by Asian countries with exports of QAR838.6 million and a share of 32.6%.

In third place came the group of GCC states, with exports totalling QAR558.4 million representing 21.7% of the total value, followed by Arab countries excluding GCC states that received QAR76.8 million, a share of 3%.

The group of ‘Other American Countries’ bloc came in fifth place with exports amounted to QAR29.3 million, a share of 1.1%, followed by ‘African Countries excluding Arab countries’ with exports amounted to QAR20.2 million, a share of 0.8%, Other European Countries which received exports of QAR2.1 million or a share of 0.1%.

Germany was at the top of the countries of destination of private sector’s exports, with close to QAR1006.5 million, a share of 39.2% of the total exports. It is followed by Oman with almost QAR421.3 million and a share of 16.4% and India with about QAR325.4 million, a share of 12.7%.

Singapore came in fourth place with almost QAR200.4 million, a share of 7.8% and Turkey with exports amounted to about QAR130.1 million, a share of 5.1%.

The value of the private sector exports to these countries represented 81.2% of the total value of exports during the same month.

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