Qatar Chamber has issued its monthly economic newsletter for April which highlighted the most prominent trends in the Qatari economy, as well as statistics related to foreign trade and trade of the private sector in February 2021 according to certificates of origin issued by the Chamber.

The newsletter, prepared by QCs Research & Studies Department, highlighted a report about the additional support packages for the private sector to mitigate the economic consequences of the pandemic and a report about the Industrial Investment Opportunities Forum which will be held in December.

The newsletter said that according to the figures given by The Planning and Statistics Authority for February 2021, the total value of foreign merchandise trade amounted to QAR28 billion, showing a decrease of 3.8 % compared to the previous month.

In February 2021, the total exports of goods (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) amounted to around QAR20.6 billion, showing a decrease of 3.3 % compared to QAR21.3 billion in January.

The imports of goods in the said month amounted to around QAR 7.4 billion, showing a decrease of 5.1 % compared to QAR 7.8 billion in January.

Therefore, the country’s foreign merchandise trade balance, which represents the difference between total exports and imports, showed a surplus of QAR 13.2 billion.

In February 2021, China was at the top of the countries of destination of Qatar’s foreign trade with about QAR4.5 billion, a share of 15.9 % of the state’s total foreign trade.

The newsletter also featured the trade of the private sector in February according to the certificate of origin issued by the Chamber which exceeded QAR 1.644 billion, showing a month-on-month increase of 10 % compared to QAR 1.499 billion in January.

This increase in the private sector’s exports is attributed to the increase of exports through the General Model certificate of origin which increased by 16 % , Unified GCC model which increased by 38 % and GSP model which grew by 17 %.

On the other hand, exports through Unified Arab model decreased by 13 %, and exports through GCC to Singapore also decreased by 89 %.

The QC’s newsletter noted that the private sector exports in the said month emphasised its ability and the Qatari economy in general to overcome the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and returning to pre-pandemic levels.

The value of private sector’s exports in February increased by 190 % compared to April 2020 which is the lowest value due to the precautionary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, while it decreased by 16 % compared to February 2020 in which exports registered the highest level.

According to the type of commodities, the private sector’s exports of petrochemical substances topped the list of exports which increased compared to exports of January with an increase of 143.9 %, followed by paraffin which increased by 111.2 %, steel with a 65.4 % increase and aluminum exports which grew by 65.4 %.

Lutreine exports came in the 5th place which grew by 44.9 % and chemical substances with an 8 % increase.

On the other hand, exports of other commodities such as chemical fertilizers, industrial gases and essential oils and industrial gases decreased by 99.1 % , 41.9 %, and 9.6 % respectively.

In February 2021, India was at the top of the countries of destination of private sector’s exports with close to QAR 315 million, a share of 19.2 % of the total exports.

It is followed by Oman with almost QAR 260 million and a share of 15.8 % and Hong Kong with about QAR 218 million, a share of 13.2 %.

Netherlands came in 4th place with almost QAR 148 million, a share of 9.0 % and Turkey with exports amounted to about QAR 145 million, a share of 8.8 %.

The value of private sector exports to these countries represented 66 % of the total value of exports during the same month.

As for economic blocs and groupings, Asian countries were at the top of economic blocs that received exports of private sector amounted to QAR 841 million with a share of 51.1 % of the total value, followed by GCC states with a share of 21.6 % with exports of QAR 356 million.

In third place came the group of EU states, with exports totalling QAR 320 million representing 19.5 % of the total value, followed by Arab countries excluding GCC states that received 60 million, a share of 3.6 % and the USA with exports amounted to 49 million, a share of 3 %.

The group of African Countries (excluding Arab countries) came in 6th place with exports amounted to QAR 18 million, a share of 1.1 %, followed by Other European Countries which received exports of QAR0.9mn or a share of 0.1 %.

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