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Qatari crude averages $65.39 in 2019; higher budget surplus seen

Qatar may have well ended fiscal 2019 on a budget surplus with the Qatari crude fetching an average $65.39 a barrel against the budgeted price assumption of $55 last year.

Qatari crude price, an average of Dukhan and Marine, was nearly 19% higher than the budgeted oil price assumption in 2019.
The average price earned by Qatari crude in January stood at $59.70 ($59.95 Dukhan and $59.45 Marine); February $65.25 ($65.40 Dukhan and $65.10 Marine); March $67.58 ($67.60 Dukhan and $67.55 Marine); April $71.88 ($71.95 Dukhan and $71.80 Marine); May $71.03 ( $71.05 Dukhan and $71 Marine); June $63.50 ($63.55 Dukhan and $63.45 Marine); July $64.85 ($64.95 Dukhan and $64.75 Marine); August $61.03 ($61.30 Dukhan and $60.75 Marine); September $63.75 (Dukhan $64.45 and $63.05 Marine); October $62.28 ($62.80 Dukhan and $61.75 Marine); November $65.40 ($65.95 Dukhan and $64.85 Marine) and December $68.48 ($68.90 Dukhan and $68.05 Marine).

In the 2019 Qatar budget, revenues were pegged at QR211bn and expenditure at QR206.7bn, thus unveiling a QR4.3bn surplus.
“With Qatari crude earning an average $65.39 a barrel in 2019, up nearly 19% on the budgeted oil price assumption of $55 a barrel, the surplus could be much higher,” an analyst told Gulf Times yesterday.

Fiscal surplus for the first six months of 2019 was QR2.03bn (first quarter) and QR6.82bn (second quarter) based on the Qatar Central Bank estimates.

As a percentage of GDP, this was up 1.2% and 4.2% respectively.

According to the latest QCB bulletin, Qatar’s total revenues in the first quarter were QR55bn and QR57.17bn in the second quarter of 2019.

Total expenditure last year was QR52.9bn (first quarter) and QR50.3bn (second quarter).

In 2019, new projects valued at QR48bn were meant to be expected to be awarded out of a portfolio of committed projects worth QR421bn. These projects will have enhanced growth in Qatar, especially in non-oil sectors.

Last year, the budget stressed completing projects in leading sectors including healthcare, education and transportation, along with those related to hosting of the World Cup in 2022.

The following were major allocations sector-wise in 2019: Health QR22.7bn, education QR19.2bn, infrastructure projects QR33bn and transportation and communications QR16.4bn.

Last month, Qatar presented an expansionary 2020 general budget with a five-year high expenditure, yet making a modest surplus, reflecting unhindered development projects across sectors such as new housing for nationals, food security and those in the free and special economic zones.

This year too, Qatar’s budgeted oil price assumption is $55 a barrel.

Total revenue is forecast at QR211bn, unchanged from the 2019 budget; whereas expenditure is slated to see almost 2% year-on-year jump to QR210.5bn, leaving a budget surplus of QR500mn.
Source: Gulf Times

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