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Sun 2 Oct 2016 10:13 AM

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Qatar's foreign trade surplus slumps 35% to $2.3bn in August

Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics data shows that surplus falls due to low natural gas and oil prices

Qatar's foreign trade surplus slumps 35% to $2.3bn in August

Qatar's foreign trade surplus shrank by 35.7 percent from a year earlier to QR8.6 billion ($2.36 billion) in August, according to data from the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics.

The surplus slumped from more than QR13.5 billion in the year-earlier period because of low natural gas and oil prices.

Exports of petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons fell 23.9 percent to QR11.25 billion ($3.1 billion), according to the data, cited by Reuters.

Earlier this year, 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 but it is also having to reduce and prioritise state spending.