By Staff writer
Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics data shows that surplus slumps by more than 50%
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.