Kuwait's oil revenues surged 57 percent in the first six months of the 2000-2001 fiscal year on the back of a 27 percent increase in crude prices and a hike in production, an economic report said Monday.
The monthly report of National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest bank in the emirate, said the Gulf state reaped $10.8 billion in oil revenues in the July-December 2000 period.
The price of Kuwait's export crude averaged $26.6 a barrel during that period, although NBK said it expected it to dip in the remaining three months of the shortened fiscal year.
The year 2000-2001, which started July 1 and ends on March 31 this year, was reduced to nine months to bring the start of the fiscal year to April 1.
In that time, Kuwait's production has risen from 1.836 million barrels per day (bpd) to its current OPEC quota of 2.021 million bpd, still well under its output capacity of more than 2.5 million bpd.
But public spending in that period grew by a modest 4.7 percent to $5.15 billion, less than half of a budgeted increase of 11.5 percent, NBK said.
Although the budget forecast a deficit of five billion dollars, NBK is estimating a five-billion-dollar surplus, the highest in two decades, based on an average oil price of $25.6 a barrel for the whole year.
Oil revenues for the budget were calculated at a conservative price of $13 a barrel. The actual surplus would be the largest in 20 years and the second largest ever.
Ten percent of revenues are annually deducted for the Kuwait Fund for Future Generations (KFFG), a $60-billion investment managed by the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA).
Kuwait posted a net surplus of $2.3 billion in the 1999-2000 fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2000, after the 10-percent deduction.
And the government is projecting a deficit of 1.8 billion dinars ($5.95 billion) for the fiscal year 2001-2002 starting April 1, although NBK is forecasting at least a balanced budget.
Expenditure is forecast at $17.2 billion and revenues at $12.5 billion, with oil income, calculated at a price of $15 per barrel, projected at 10.6 billion dollars, or 85 percent of the total.
Returns from the KFFG, estimated at about three billion dollars, are not included in the surplus.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )