DOHA: Qatar’s merchandise trade balance — the difference between exports and imports — increased sixfold from QR64.1bn to QR392.2bn during 2006-2012.
Total exports, including re-exports, quadrupled to reach QR484.1bn in 2012. Imports, on the other hand, increased by 53 percent from QR59.8bn in 2006 to QR91.8bn in 2012, the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics revealed yesterday.
Throughout 2006-2012, the majority of exports were destined to Asia. Japan, South Korea, India and China were the main markets. In 2012, exports to these countries accounted for 28 percent, 19 percent, 11 percent and 5 percent of total exports respectively, the ministry document Window on Economic Statistics of Qatar said.
Exports to Asia were dominated by liquefied natural gas (LNG), crude oil, condensates, propane and butane, polyethylene and naphtha.
In 2012, the EU was the second destination of the exports and accounted for 10 percent of total exports, up from 4 percent registered in 2006. Exports to the EU were mainly LNG, kerosene, polyethylene, halogenated olefins, and urea.
GCC exports stable
Exports to the Gulf countries, third economic area of importance in Qatar exports, remained stable during 2006-2012 at around 6 percent of total exports.
Among Gulf countries, the UAE was the first destination of the exports to the region, but its participation decreased from 79 percent in 2006 to 68 percent in 2012.
Exports to this economic area comprised principally LNG, kerosene, aluminium alloys, natural gas and iron bars and rods.
An analysis of imports during the six-year period shows machinery and transport equipment accounted for 44 percent and amounted to QR40.9bn. Machinery and transport equipment include import of vehicles, parts of aeroplanes, mechanical and electricity machinery.
Imports of food and beverages tripled and reached QR8.2bn in 2012.
Imports of crude materials except fuels, such as iron ores, aluminium oxide, pebbles and crushed stone, natural bitumen and asphalt increased fourfold during 2006-2012 recording QR5.5bn in 2012.
Miscellaneous manufactured articles such as jewellery, watches and paintings, almost doubled during 2012 and amounted to QR10.8bn, the document noted.
During 2006-2012, imports from Asia and the European Union accounted for more than 60 percent of imported goods, but the share of imports of these regions decreased gradually.
Among Asia, Japan and China accounted for more than half of the transactions, while Germany, Italy, and the UK were the main sources of the EU goods.
Imports from the Gulf countries increased in share from 13 percent in 2006 to 16 percent in 2012.
Among GCC countries, the UAE was the most significant trading partner accounting for 62 percent of imports from this region in 2012.
Imports from this economic area comprised pebbles, gravel, broken or crushed stone. The share of the US in the imports remained virtually unchanged during 2006-12.
In 2012, the US was the main country of origin of imports (11 percent), followed by China (10 percent), Japan (8 percent) and UAE (8 percent).
During 2006-12, other countries, such as Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Switzerland, and Norway, increased its share in total imports from 8 percent in 2006 to 14 percent in 2012.
In Q2 2013, Qatar’s total exports amounted to QR123.2bn, an increase of QR3.2bn or 2.7 percent compared to Q2 2012.
In Q2 2013, the main countries of destination of Qatar exports were Japan, South Korea and India. Imports recorded a QR23.9bn in Q2 2013, an increase of QR1bn or 4.2 percent compared to Q22012.