The Qatar Chamber has issued on Sunday its monthly economic newsletter for May 2020 which highlights the most prominent trends in the Qatari economy as well as statistics related to the foreign trade.
The issue touched on the preparedness of the private sector to implement the state’s strategies and economic development plans. It highlighted the speech of HH The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on the occasion of the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The issues said that the speech included many directives and decisions that represent key features of the roadmap for Qatar toward a more diversified, sustainable, and flexible economy against crises.
It noted that the Amir’s speech has come amid the crisis of the Covid -19 pandemic while most of the world countries had to close, most economic activities hindered, and oil prices declined.
The issue also elaborated the global forecasts on effects of Corona on world economies that expected that the US economy will shrink 5.5% in the second quarter of 2020, the steepest drop for 60 years, with a huge 20% unemployment, while in the Euro area, experts expect a 10 to 15% contraction in its economy, while growth in Asian economies will be disrupted for the first time in 60 years.
The International Monetary Fund has warned of economic damage that will be significantly higher than the global financial crisis of 2009 and the Asian Crisis of 1997.
It included the state’s foreign trade during March including the private sector’s trade according to the certificates of origin issued by the chamber for exporting companies.
The report said that according to the figures given by The Planning and Statistics Authority for March 2020, the total the value of foreign merchandise trade statistics amounted to QR 24.2 billion, showing a decrease of 16.6% compared to February 2020, amounted to QR 29 billion.
In March 2020, the total exports of goods (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) amounted to around QR 15.9 billion, while the Qatari imports during the same month amounted to about QR 8.3 billion. Therefore, the foreign merchandise trade balance, which represents the difference between total exports and imports, showed a surplus of QR 7.6 billion, recording a decrease of 44.1% compared to QR 13.6 billion in February 2020.
In March, Japan was at the top of the countries of destination of Qatar’s exports with close to QR 2.456 billion, a share of 15.5% of total exports, followed by South Korea with almost QR 2.379 billion and a share of 14.9 %, India with about QR 2.212 billion, a share of 13.9 %. China comes in the fourth place with almost QR 2.005 billion, a share of 12.6 % and Singapore with about QR 0.948 billion, a share of 6%.
With regard to Qatar’s imports according to country of origin in March, the United State was the leading country with about QR 1.434 billion, a share of 17.3% of the total imports amounted to QR 8.3 billion, followed by China with QR 790 million almost, a share of 9.5%, and Germany with QR 677 million, a share of 8.2%. UK comes in the fourth place with about QR 601 million, a share of 7.2%, followed by India with QR 473 million, a share of 5.7% of the total value.
Regarding the private sector’s total exports during March, the Qatar Chamber’s data showed that they reached QR 1.944 billion, with a slight decrease of 0.5% compared to QR 1.954 billion in February.
The essential & industrial oils group came first in the private sector exports’ list, with exports amounted to QR 777 million, recording an increase of 40% compared to February. The second was the aluminum group, with exports amounted to QR 374 million, decreasing by 9.9% compared to February.
Third, steel exports amounted to QR 228 million, recording a 6.3% decrease, while the paraffin in the fourth place, with exports amounted to QR 64 million, decreasing by 14.1%, followed by Lutreine, with exports of 63 million, increasing by 7.4% and helium gas with exports of 62 million, increasing by 0.7% compared to February.
In the seventh place is chemical with exports amounted to QR 36 million, with a decrease of 27.4% compared to QR 50 million in February, while chemical substances exports amounted to QR 33 million came in the eighth place, decreasing by 21% compared to February.
Chemical fertilizers recorded a sharp decrease in March amounted to QR 202 thousand compared to QR 90 million in February.
The reports said that exports through the “General Model” certificate of origin form is the largest value, amounted to QR 817.1 million, decreasing by (18%) than the value of February. Exports through GSP came in the second place with a total value of about QR 730 million, recording an increase of 57%, followed by exports of the GCC model with a value of about QR 346.2 million (18% decrease) and Unified Arab certificate with a value of QR 50.2 million.
However, no goods were exported through the Unified GCC Certificate of Origin for exporting to Singapore.