Millions worth of American cheese landed on Qatari shelved in 2020.
Qatar’s 803 tonne import of cheese from the United States was valued at more than $4.4 million in 2020 alone, according to the USA Cheese Guild.
The American cheese industry witnessed a “steady” growth in demand for cheese from the USA in Qatar and the wider Middle East region, the guild said.
“The popularity of USA cheese is a testament to its quality and varieties that suit every taste. With more than 1,000 types of cheese, there are many ways to consume USA cheeses,” Chef Chef Antonio El Khoury, director, Culinary Programs (MENA) for the USA Cheese Guild.
In recent years, the guild introduced a range of US cheesemakers to the region, resulting in “significant inroads” into the retail segment with several American cheeses now available on shelves and deli counters of major supermarket chains in the Middle East.
During the first nine months of 2020, Qatar-US bilateral trade volume reached QR 11.72 billion The US trade surplus with Qatar for the period stood at QR5.42 billion, official data from the United States Census Bureau revealed.
Qatar-US bilateral trade volume reached an all time high in 2019, breaching the previous peak level recorded in 2014, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
The total value of goods exchanged between the two countries during 2019 jumped to nearly QR 30 billion, registering a double-digit growth of 36 percent (year-on-year) compared to QR 21.84 billion in 2018.