Monthly Economic Newsletter | May 2021

Qatar Foreign Trade (March 2021)

Trade Balance

According to the figures of The Planning and Statistics Authority for March 2021, the total value of foreign merchandise trade amounted to QR 31 billion, showing an increase of 10.7 % compared to QR 28 billion in February 2021.

In March 2021, the total exports of goods (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) amounted to around QR 22.1 billion, showing an increase of 7.3 percent compared to QR 20.6 billion in February.

The imports of goods in March 2021 amounted to around QR 8.9 billion, an increase of 20.3 percent compared to QR 7.4 billion in February.

Therefore, the country’s foreign merchandise trade balance, which represents the difference between total exports and imports, showed a surplus of QR 13.2 billion almost, recording a decrease of 2.2 percent compared to QR 13.5 billion in January.

Table (1) Trade balance for February & March (Value in QR billion)

Major Trade Partners According to Foreign Trade – March 2021
In March 2021, China was at the top of the countries of destination of Qatar’s foreign trade with about QR 3.9 billion, a share of 12.5 percent of the state’s total foreign trade.

Major Trade Partners According to Exports – March 2021
In March 2021, Japan was at the top of the countries of destination of Qatar’s exports with close to QR 3.426 billion, a share of 15.5 percent of total exports, followed by South Korea with almost QR 3.132 billion and a share of 14.2 percent and India with about QR 2.878 billion, a share of 13 percent.

China comes in the fourth place with almost QR 2.685 billion, a share of 12.2 percent and Singapore with about QR 1.513 billion, a share of 6.8 percent.

These five countries received approximately 61.7 percent of the total value of Qatari exports during the said month.

Table (2): Total exports by Major Countries of Destination- March 2021

Graph (1): Major Trade Partners According to Value of Exports – March 2021

Value of exports in billion

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Graph (2): Exports by Major Countries of Destination – March 2021

Share (%) in total

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Table (3): Main Groups of Commodities Exported - March 2021

Imports by Major Countries of Destination -March 2021

In March 2021, China was the leading country of origin for Qatar’s imports with about QR 1.177 billion, a share of 13.2 percent of the imports amounted to QR 8.9 billion, followed by the USA with QR 0.925 billion almost, a share of 10.4 percent, and Germany with QR 0.711 billion, a share of 8 percent.

India comes in the fourth place with about QR 0.609 billion, a share of 6.8 percent, followed by Italy with QR 0.493 billion, a share of 5.5 percent of the total value. 

The imports of these five countries represented 44 percent of the total value of imports during the mentioned month.

Table (4): Imports by Major Countries of Destination- March 2021

Graph (3): Imports by Major Trade Partners and share (%) in total – March 2021

Value of Imports in billion

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Table (5): Main Groups of Commodities Imported – March 2021

Exports of the private sector – March 2021

  • The volume of the private sector exports in March 2021 amounted to QR 1.938.4 billion, showing a month-on-month increase of 17.9 percent compared to QR 1.644.5 billion in February, while on a year-on-year basis, it decreased by 0.3 percent compared to QR 1.954 billion as in March 2020.
  • This increase demonstrated its ability and Qatar economy in general to overcome the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and returning to pre-pandemic levels.
  • In March, private sector exports grew by 238 percent compared to April 2020, while it decreased by 0.7 percent compared to February 2020, which is the highest month during this period.

Graph (5) Private sector exports from February 2020 to February 2021:

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  • The increase in private sector exports in March compared to February 2021 is attributed to the increase of exports through most of all certificate models except for exports through the General Model certificate which decreased by 6.9 percent compared to February.
  • Exports through Unified GCC model, GCC to Singapore and Unified Arab model increased by 105.6 percent, 62.3 percent, and 31.7 percent respectively.

Table (6) Exports of the private sector according to the type of certificate of origin (March 2020, February & March 2021)

Graph (5) Private sector exports from March 2020 and February and March 2021:

(Value in million riyals)

No Data Found

Exports of the private sector according to the type of commodities

Table (7) Exports of private sector according to commodities (March 2020, Feb & March 2021)

Graph (6) Private sector exports according to type of commodities from March 2020 and February & March 2021:

(Value in million riyals)

No Data Found

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

  • In March 2021, the private sector’s exports of essential and industrial oils topped the list of exports which increased by 92 percent compared to February, followed by lutreine which increased by 25.9 percent, chemical substances with a 13.2 percent increase and industrial gases exports which grew by 5.5 percent.
  • On the other hand, exports of other commodities such as chemical fertilizers, petrochemicals, paraffin, steel, and aluminum decreased by 100 percent, 76.7 percent, and 5 percent, 39.5 percent, and 4.7 percent respectively.

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 -March 2021

Graph (7) Exports of private sector according to economic blocs and groupings – March 2021

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As for economic blocs and groupings, Asian countries were at the top of economic blocs that received exports of private sector amounted to QR 815 million with a share of 42 percent of the total value, followed by GCC states with a share of 37.7 percent with exports of QR 730million.

In third place came the group of EU states, with exports totaling QR 280 million representing 14.4 percent of the total value, followed by Arab countries excluding GCC states that received 79 million, a share of 4.1 percent.

The group of African Countries (excluding Arab countries) came in the fifth place with exports amounted to QR 13 million, a share of 1 percent, followed by USA with exports amounted to 20 million, a share of 0.7 percent, Other European Countries which received exports of QR0.8mn or a share of 0.04 percent.

Exports of the private sector as per major destinations –March 2021:

Table (9) Exports by major trade partners – March 2021

Graph (8) Major trade partners of the private sector’s exports – March 2021

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In March 2021, Oman was at the top of the countries of destination of private sector’s exports with close to QR 582 million, a share of 30 percent of the total exports.

It is followed by India with almost QR 321 million and a share of 16.5 percent and Hong Kong with about QR 233 million, a share of 12 percent.

Netherlands came in fourth place with almost QR 180 million, a share of 9.3 percent and Turkey with exports amounted to about QR 152 million, a share of 7.8 percent.

The value of private sector exports to these countries represented 75.7 percent of the total value of exports during the same month.

Exports of the private sector as per major destinations –March 2021:

According to the type of certificate of origin

Table (10) Exports as per the type of certificate of origin (Q1 2020, 2021)

Graph (9) Exports as per the type of certificate of origin (Q1 2020, Q1 2021)

(Value in million riyals)

No Data Found

The total volume of private sector exports during the first quarter of 2021 (from Jan to March) reached QR 5.08 billion, showing a decrease of 12% compared to the first quarter of 2020 which amounted to QR 5.78 billion.

Exports through all forms of certificates of origin increased in varying percentages expect for exports through GSP model which decreased by 84 percent.

Exports through Arab Countries model increased by 114 percent, followed by Singapore model which increased by 783 percent, GCC model which increased by 36 percent and General Model which increased by 7 percent.

According to the type of commodities

Table (11) Exports according to the type of commodities (Q1 2020, Q1 2021)

Value (QAR)

According to data of table (11), six commodities increased in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

Industrial Gases topped the list of commodities registering an increase of 181 percent, followed by lutreine which increased by 84.4 percent, paraffin with a 29 percent increase, chemical substances which increased by 22.1 percent, aluminum which increased by 5.3 percent and petrochemicals which increased by 3.5 percent.

On the other hand, exports of other commodities such as chemical fertilizers, essential and industrial oils and steel decreased by 57.4 percent, 42.9 percent, and 41.7 percent, respectively.

Graph (10) Exports according to the type of commodities in Q1 2020, 2021

(Value in million riyals)

No Data Found