Qatar’s Top 10 Exports

Qatar’s Top 10 Exports


Located on the Arabian Peninsula’s northeast coast, southern Qatar borders with Saudi Arabia while sharing sea borders on the Persian Gulf with the United Arab Emirates and Iran.

Exports from Qatar amounted to US$78 billion in 2015, down by -31.9% since 2011 and down by -40.7% from 2014 to 2015. Qatar’s top 10 exports accounted for 97.6% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Qatar is the world’s richest country in terms of GDP per capita. Its total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $333.9 billion as of April 2016.

Therefore, exports accounted for about 23.4% of total Qatari economic output.

From a continental perspective, $63.8 billion or 81.8% of Qatari exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 11.9% were sold to European importers. Qatar shipped another 2% worth of goods to African customers with 1.5% going to North America and 1.1% bought by Latin American (excluding Mexico) and Caribbean countries.

Given Qatar’s population of 2.2 million people, its total $78 billion in 2015 exports translates to roughly $35,500 for every resident in that country.

Qatar’s unemployment rate was 0.2% in 2015 according to Trading Economics.

Qatar’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Qatari global shipments during 2015. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Qatar.

  1. Oil: US$64.5 billion (82.8% of total exports)
  2. Plastics: $2.9 billion (3.7%)
  3. Aluminum: $1.8 billion (2.3%)
  4. Fertilizers: $1.8 billion (2.2%)
  5. Organic chemicals: $1.7 billion (2.2%)
  6. Inorganic chemicals: $989.7 million (1.3%)
  7. Iron and steel: $743.1 million (1%)
  8. Vehicles: $728.8 million (0.9%)
  9. Machines, engines, pumps: $630.1 million (0.8%)
  10. Ships, boats: $344.3 million (0.4%)

Ships and boats were the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up 2,193% for the 5-year period starting in 2011.

In second place for improving export sales were inorganic chemicals which appreciated by 100.8%.

Qatari aluminum posted the third-fastest gain in value at 63.9%.

The only declining category among the top 10 Qatari exports was oil depreciated by -38.6%.


The following types of Qatari product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Oil: US$64.2 billion (Down by -38.8% since 2011)
  2. Plastics: $2.1 billion (Up by 7.2%)
  3. Fertilizers: $1.7 billion (Up by 41.3%)
  4. Organic chemicals: $1.6 billion (Up by 34.9%)
  5. Aluminum: $1.6 billion (Up by 96.6%)
  6. Inorganic chemicals: $402.9 million (Down by -561.1%)
  7. Ships, boats: $299.5 million (Down by -228.5%)
  8. Iron and steel: $155.4 million (Down by -12.3%)
  9. Collector items, art, antiques: $7.6 million (Down by -107.5%)
  10. Lead: $7.4 million (Down by -452.2%)

Qatar has highly positive net exports in the international trade of petroleum. In turn, these cashflows indicate Qatar’s strong competitive advantages under the oil product category.


Below are exports from Qatar that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Qatar’s goods trail Qatari importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Machines, engines, pumps: -US$4.4 billion (Up by 51.4% since 2011)
  2. Vehicles: -$3.7 billion (Up by 110.2%)
  3. Electronic equipment: -$3.2 billion (Up by 21.5%)
  4. Aircraft, spacecraft: -$1.8 billion (Up by 97%)
  5. Iron or steel products: -$1.5 billion (Up by 56.2%)
  6. Furniture, lighting, signs: -$848.4 million (Up by 36.7%)
  7. Gems, precious metals: -$715.1 million (Up by 35.5%)
  8. Medical, technical equipment: -$597.3 million (Up by 62.3%)
  9. Ores, slag, ash: -$548.3 million (Down by -30.8%)
  10. Pharmaceuticals: -$503.3 million (Up by 58.7%)

Qatar has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for machinery including computers.


Qatari Export Companies

Eight Qatari corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015 albeit many of these are in the financial services. Below are samples from the 2015 Forbes listing.

  • Qatar National Bank (regional bank)
  • Ooredoo Telecom (telecommunications services)
  • Industries Qatar (specialized chemicals)

Wikipedia lists export companies from Qatar. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Qatar National Cement Company (cement manufacturing)
  • Qatar Petroleum (oil, gas)
  • Qatar Steel (steel, other basic materials)
  • Qatargas (natural gas)
  • RasGas (natural gas)

Qatar’s capital city is Doha.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Qatar’s Top Trade Partners, Top Middle Eastern Export Countries and World’s Wealthiest Nations Per Person

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on May 30, 2016

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 30, 2016

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 30, 2016

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 30, 2016

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Qatar. Accessed on May 30, 2016

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 30, 2016