Posted on : Mon, 21 Dec 2009


Qatar’s exports and imports have increased rapidly in recent years due to the strong economic growth witnessed and the implementation of large projects in the oil and gas sector, industry and infrastructure.

Qatar’s exports have grown by an average of 33.6% over the past five years (2004 -2008). Qatar’s successful diversification efforts are being realised, with increased export revenues coming in from natural gas, petrochemicals and related products, and iron and steel. Qatar’s exports have grown by 203% over the five-year period from 2004 to 2008, to reach QR206.0 billion ($56.6 billion) in 2008, from QR68.0 billion in 2004.

Qatar’s imports have also shown a substantial growth rate, averaging 43.1% during the past five years (2004 -2008). Qatar’s various project requirements have led to the big rise in imports, as can be seen through the increase in imports of machinery and mechanical appliances and also building materials as detailed in the table highlighting main import items. Qatar’s imports have grown by 365% over the five year period from 2004 to 2008, to reach QR91.5 billion ($25.1 billion) in 2008, from QR19.7 billion in 2004.


Qatar’s trade balance increased by 41.7% in 2008 to reach QR114.5 billion, from QR80.8 billion in 2007. Qatar’s trade balance increase in 2008 was mainly due to the price and production increase in both oil and natural gas.

The net outflow of services and private transfers has steadily increased over the years, mainly due to repatriation of funds by expatriate workers, and in 2008 reached QR56.7 billion. Preliminary numbers released by the QCB for the year 2008 indicates a current account surplus of QR57.8 billion ($15.9 billion), compared to a surplus of QR38.0 billion ($10.4 billion) in 2007.

Net capital transfers amounted to QR8.3 billion in 2008, resulting in a record overall Balance of Payments surplus of QR49.5 billion. Balance of Payments surpluses are likely to remain strong in the coming years on the back of increased exports of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).


Source: Qatar Statistics Authority.


Qatar’s exports increased by 34.7% in 2008, to reach QR206.0 billion, from QR153.0 billion in 2007. The export data obtained from the Qatar Statistics Authority show significant increases in the export of crude oil, LNG, chemicals and related products, and iron and steel.

The increase in crude oil export revenues in 2008 was due to the high oil prices, with the average Qatari oil price reaching $95.2 per barrel in 2008 compared to $70.0 per barrel in 2007, along with the increase in the exports of LNG.

Qatar’s principal export items in 2008 were mineral fuels and products, which accounted for 89.6% of the total value of goods exported, followed by chemicals and related products.


Source: Qatar Statistics Authority.

Qatar exported 30.4 million tons (mt) of LNG in 2008 which accounted for 28.5% of overall export earnings. LNG export revenues have increased by 197% over the past five years to reach QR58.8 billion in 2008 from QR19.8 billion in 2004. LNG export destinations have increased over the years with new SPA’s being signed with major international companies.


Qatar’s imports (fob) increased by 26.8% in 2008 to reach QR91.5 billion, from QR72.2 billion in 2007. Data on imports obtained from the Qatar Statistics Authority show that Qatar’s main items of imports in 2008 consisted of machinery and mechanical appliances, base metals, vehicles and transport equipment, and food products. Machinery and mechanical appliances gained top spot in the list of import items due to the various energy sector, infrastructure and industrial projects that are ongoing. Qatar continues to import substantial quantities of base metals, primarily iron and steel, to keep pace with the needs of the burgeoning construction sector.


Source: Qatar Statistics Authority.