Federal Budget

Qatar records budget surplus of $5.4bn in first quarter

Qatar records budget surplus of $5.4bn in first quarter

Business

Qatar had forecasted a budget surplus of 29bn riyals for the entire 2023

DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar recorded a budget surplus of 19.7 billion Qatari riyals ($5.4 billion) in the first quarter of 2023, its state news agency said, citing the finance ministry.

Total revenues for Q1 stood at 68.6 billion riyals, of which 63.4 billion were oil and gas revenues, the Qatar News Agency statement said, while non-oil revenues amounted to 5.2 billion riyals.

The Gulf state, among the world's top exporters of liquefied natural gas, had forecast a budget surplus of 29 billion riyals for the entire 2023.

Qatar based its budget for this year on an oil price of $65 per barrel, but the actual average oil price over the first quarter was $82.2 per barrel, resulting in higher revenue.

Spending in Q1 stood at 48.9 billion riyals.

The budget surplus is expected to go towards repaying Qatar's public debt, boosting central bank reserves, and increasing the capital of the Qatar Investment Authority, the state sovereign wealth fund.

Qatar has seen rising demand for gas from Europe to replace Russian pipeline gas, previously almost 40% of the continent's imports. Amid rising competition for LNG, Asia has been ahead in securing gas from Qatar's massive production expansion project.