Qatar’s exports soared in April, as the regional gas giant gained from a surge in prices and demand for liquefied natural gas, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Exports totaled 43.5 billion riyals ($11.9 billion) compared to 21 billion riyals in the year-ago period, resulting in a trade surplus of 34.2 billion riyals, a government statement said.

On a monthly basis, the rise in total exports was 18.4 percent.

The jump was due to the higher export of gas, which more than doubled annually to 27.8 billion riyals in April 2022.

China was the top destination of Qatar’s exports in April, totaling nearly 6.6 billion riyals, followed by India (5.5 billion riyals) and Japan (4.5 billion riyals).

United Kingdom imported 3.7 billion riyals worth from Qatar in April, compared with 884 million riyals in April 2021. The UK was Qatar's second-biggest market in Europe last year, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Europe buys around 40 percent of its gas from Russia, whose supply has remained steady so far despite the war, although prices soared to record highs in March.

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Daniel Luiz)