Monthly Economic Newsletter | February 2021

Qatar’s Foreign Trade (December 2020)

Trade Balance

According to the figures of The Planning and Statistics Authority for December 2020, the total value of foreign merchandise trade amounted to QR 25.6 billion, showing an increase of 6.2 % compared to November 2020, which amounted to QR 24.1 billion.

In December 2020, the total exports of goods (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) amounted to around QR 17.7 billion, showing an increase of 3 percent compared to QR 16.6 billion in November.

The imports of goods in December 2020 amounted to around QR 8.5 billion, showing an increase of 13.3 % compared to QR 7.5 billion in November.

Therefore, the country’s foreign merchandise trade balance, which represents the difference between total exports and imports, showed a surplus of QR 8.6 billion almost, recording a decrease of 5.5 % compared to QR 9.1billion in November.

Table (1) Trade balance for November & December 2020 (Value in QR billion)

Major Trade Partners According to Foreign Trade- December 2020
In December 2020, China was at the top of the countries of destination of Qatar’s foreign trade with about QR 4.1 billion, a share of 16 percent of the state’s total foreign trade.

Major Trade Partners According to Exports- December 2020
In December 2020, India was at the top of the countries of destination of Qatar’s exports with close to QR 2.832 billion, a share of 16.6 percent of total exports, followed by China with almost QR 2.757 billion and a share of 16.1 percent and Japan with about QR 2.687 billion, a share of 15.7 percent.
South Korea comes in the fourth place with almost QR 2.031 billion, a share of 11.9 % and Singapore with about QR 1.542 billion, a share of 9 percent.
These five countries received approximately 69.3 percent of the total value of Qatari exports during the said month.

Table (2): Total exports by Major Countries of Destination- December 2020

Graph (1): Major Trade Partners According to Value of Exports – December 2020

Value of exports in billion

No Data Found

Graph (2): Exports by Major Countries of Destination – December 2020

Share (%) in total

No Data Found

Table (3): Main Groups of Commodities Exported -December 2020

Imports by Major Countries of Destination -December2020

In December 2020, China was the leading country of origin for Qatar’s imports with about QR 1.302 billion, a share of 15.3 percent of the imports amounted to QR 8.5 billion, followed by the USA with QR 1.168 billion almost, a share of 13.7 percent, and Germany with QR 0.659 billion, a share of 7.8 percent.

India comes in the fourth place with about QR 0.521 billion, a share of 6.1 percent, followed by Italy with QR 0.492 billion, a share of 5.8 percent of the total value.

The imports of these five countries represented 48.7 percent of the total value of imports during the mentioned month.

Table (4): Imports by Major Countries of Destination- December 2020

Graph (3A): Imports by Major Trade Partners and share (%) in total -December 2020

Value of Imports in billion

No Data Found

Graph (3B): Imports by Major Trade Partners and share (%) in total-December 2020

No Data Found

Table (5): Main Groups of Commodities Imported – November 2020

Exports of the private sector – December 2020

  • The exports of private sector in December exceeded QR 1.333 billion, showing a month-on-month increase of 13.4% compared to QR 1.175 billion in November.
  • This increase in private sector’s exports is attributed to the sharp increase of 286% in exports through the Unified GCC Model certificate of origin which increased from QR 99 million to QR 382 million.
  • Exports through Unified GCC to Singapore model also recorded an increase of 13.3%, while exports through the General Model certificate of origin and exports through the Unified Arab Model decreased by 12.9% and 14% respectively.
  • Exports through GSP Model maintained the same level registered in November.

Table (6) Exports of the private sector according to the type of certificate of origin (November, December 2020)

(Value in million riyals)

Table (6) Exports of the private sector as per certificates of origin

(Value in million riyals)

No Data Found

Graph (4) Private sector’s exports according to the type of certificate of origin
(November, December 2020)

  • Data of the private sector’s exports indicated the ability of the private sector and the Qatari economy in general to overcome the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • In December, the exports of private sector increased by 133 percent compared to April, the lowest month of the year, while it decreased by 31 percent compared to February which is the highest month of the year.

Graph (5) Private sector exports from January to August 2020 (Value in billion)

No Data Found

No Data Found

Exports of the private sector according to the type of commodities

Table (7) Exports of private sector according to commodities (November& December)

Graph (6) Relative weights of the private sector's export commodities – December 2020

No Data Found

Data of table (7) and Graph (6), indicate that:

  • In December, the private sector’s exports of industrial gases topped the list of exports with exports amounted to QR 405 mn, recording an increase of 146% compared to QR 164 mn in November. It is followed by chemical substances which increased by 18% and essential & Industrial oils which increased by 1%.
  • On the other hand, exports of other commodities such as chemical fertilizers, lutreine, paraffin, and aluminum decreased by 64%, 15.2%, 15.1%, and 25.5% respectively, while there are not any exports from steel registered in December.

Exports of the private sector as per major destinations – December 2020:

Table (8) Exports by major trade partners - December2020

(In QR riyal)

Graph (7) Major trade partners of the private sector’s exports – December 2020

No Data Found

In December 2020, Oman was at the top of the countries of destination of private sector’s exports with close to QR 362 million, a share of 27.13 percent of the total exports.

It was followed by India with almost QR 217 million and a share of 16.3 percent and Netherlands with about QR 124 million, a share of 9.34 percent.

Singapore came in fourth place with almost QR 119 million, a share of 8.95 percent and Turkey with about QR 109 million, a share of 8.21 percent.

Destinations of the private sector’s exports in terms of the economic blocs

Table (9) Destinations of the private sector exports as per economic blocs and groupings -December 2020

Value in million riyals

Graph (8) Exports of the private sector according to economic blocs & groupings – December 2020

No Data Found

At the level of blocs and groupings, Asian countries were at the top of economic blocs that received exports of private sector amounted to QR 658 million with a share of 49.4 % of the total value, followed by GCC states with a share of 28.8% with exports of QR 384 million.

In third place came the group of EU states, with exports totaling QR 207 million representing 15.6 % of the total value, followed by Arab countries excluding GCC states that received 62 million, a share of 4.5 percent and the USA with exports amounted to 17 million, a share of 1.3 percent.

The group of African countries (excluding Arab states) came in sixth place with exports amounted to QR 5 million, a share of 0.36, followed by the group of other other American countries and Other European countries which received exports of values 0.08% and 0.05% respectively.