Qatar's foreign trade surplus slashed in half in May

Published June 28th, 2016 - 05:00 GMT
The world's top liquefied natural gas exporter is one of the richest countries per capita but it faces a $12.8 billion budget deficit this year because of the continued lower oil and gas prices. (File photo)
The world's top liquefied natural gas exporter is one of the richest countries per capita but it faces a $12.8 billion budget deficit this year because of the continued lower oil and gas prices. (File photo)

Qatar's foreign trade surplus halved from a year earlier to QR7.5 billion ($2.05 billion) in May, data from the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics showed on Monday.

The surplus slumped by 50.4 percent from more than QR15 billion in the year-earlier period because of low natural gas and oil prices.

Exports of petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons fell 38.2 percent to QR9.85 billion ($2.71 billion), according to the data, cited by Reuters.

Last month, Qatar cut its planned spending on building healthcare facilities by about two-thirds this year following the drop in energy prices.

The world's top liquefied natural gas exporter is one of the richest countries per capita but it faces a QR46.5 billion ($12.8 billion) budget deficit this year because of the continued lower oil and gas prices.

Like other Gulf states, it is turning to international markets to bridge the gap - it is expected to price its first sovereign bond issue in four years on Wednesday - but it is also having to reduce and prioritise state spending.


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