Qatar’s key LNG exports flooded into Europe in 2019 as burgeoning supplies from Australia meant that its core Asian markets were oversupplied. But, whilst preliminary data indicates that European imports of LNG from Qatar jumped 50%, there was no corresponding boost in export revenues for Qatar. Quite the opposite. The latest official Qatari trade data shows that the value of its exports into Europe dropped 9% as low commodities prices took their toll.

Overall, Qatar’s exports took a hit in 2019. The value of its exports fell nearly 15% to $73.1bn due to low hydrocarbon prices (MEES, 31 January). Nevertheless, it was still able to rack up a healthy $44bn trade surplus (see chart 1), and indeed the government ran a second consecutive budget surplus, ending up $4.1bn in the black (MEES, 31 January). (CONTINUED - 854 WORDS)