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Qatar food and drink market

Qatar remains a beacon of stability in the increasingly volatile Middle East region, which is reflected in our positive outlook both for the country's economy

While almost all other countries in the Middle East and North Africa have experienced social unrest since the start of the 'Arab Spring' in December 2010, Qatar remains the most politically stable. We expect this stability to persist over the medium term, underpinned primarily by ongoing government reforms and high living standards for Qatari nationals. Although the wave of protests over unemployment and high food prices unfolding in MENA is unlikely to spread into Qatar, rising commodity prices will certainly put pressure on Doha to maintain subsidies. Consequently, we expect more funds to be allocated for subsidising food products and even increases in wages of Qatari nationals, which in turn will boost current spending, forecast to grow by 12.0% in 2011, compared to the only modest 0.6% uptick estimated in 2010. Qatar's economy is set to experience further acceleration in 2011, despite the high base set by the 15.9% real expansion recorded in 2010. With liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports set to remain the main driver of growth thanks to the strong outlook for energy prices in 2011, we are pencilling in a real GDP expansion of 17.2%, slightly higher than 2010. This strong outlook has very positive implications for the country's food and drink sector, with premiumisation likely to increasingly take hold.

Headline Industry Data
- 2010 food consumption growth = -1.74%; forecast to 2015 = +40.6%.
- 2010 soft drinks value sales = +19.9%; forecast to 2015 = +60.6%.
- 2010 mass grocery retail sales = +17.6%; forecast to 2015 = +50.8%.
- 2010 hypermarket sales = +17.7%; forecast to 2015 = +44.7%.

by S. C.
01 august 2011, World News > Asia