Qatar’s first-quarter budget surplus slips to $549 million, revenue down 22% | Andrew Mills



Qatar recorded a budget surplus of two billion riyals ($548.9 million) in the first quarter of 2024, the finance ministry said on Sunday, down from 19.7 billion riyals a year earlier.

Total revenue for the quarter was down 22.1 percent at 53.4 billion riyals, of which 47.3 billion riyals was oil and gas revenue, the ministry said on social media platform X, while non-oil revenue amounted to 6.1 billion riyals.

The Gulf Arab state, among the world’s largest exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG), in December forecast that oil and gas revenue would fall by 14.5 percent in 2024 while non-oil revenue is expected to rise by about 2.4 percent.

First-quarter spending stood at 51.4 billion riyals, up five percent year on year, the ministry added.

The budget surplus is expected to go towards repaying Qatar’s public debt, the ministry said.

Asian spot LNG prices have risen in recent weeks on stronger demand, but prices collapsed in the first quarter to their lowest in nearly three years as demand weakened because of higher than usual temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere winter.

Asian and European gas prices surged to record highs in 2022 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent halt in Russian gas supplies to Europe.

State-owned QatarEnergy in February announced a new expansion of LNG production that will bring total capacity to 142 million metric tonnes per year, an 85 percent increase on current output.

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