Kuwait oil exports to peak in 2011: IMF

Kuwait is projected to net its highest ever oil export earnings in 2011 because of a surge in crude prices and the this will widen its real GDP by nearly five per cent through the year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has  said.

From around $61.7 billion in 2010, the Gulf country’s oil revenue will climb to a record high of $85.9 billion in 2011 and could swell further to nearly $89.2bn in 2012 on account of higher prices, the IMF said in a report this week.

The 2011 will be the highest income to be earned by Kuwait as it is projected to surpass the record earnings of $82.6bn in 2008, when the price of Kuwait’s crude soared to its highest average of nearly $93.7 a barrel.

The IMF forecast Kuwait’s oil production at around 2.41 million barrels per day in 2011, below the peak output of 2.68 million bpd in 2008. But its figures showed crude prices in 2011 would exceed those in 2008 as it forecast them at $104.1.

The report expected crude prices to slip slightly to $103.1 in 2012.The report showed the surge in revenue would expand the hydrocarbon sector and allow Kuwait to spend more. This will expand its real GDP by five per cent in 2011 against 3.3 per cent in 2010 after a five per cent contraction in 2009.

A breakdown showed growth in the oil sector would be around 3.3 per cent this year compared with 3.2 per cent in 2010 while growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector was put at $six per cent in 2011 against 3.4 per cent in 2010.

The IMF expected inflation in Kuwait to increase to six per cent in 2011 from around 4.1 per cent in 2010 before siding to 3.5 per cent in 2012. Opec-member Kuwait is one of the world’s top oil producers and controls the fifth largest crude deposits of nearly 101 billion barrels after those in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Venezuela.

The report showed higher oil prices and output would boost Kuwait’s total exports of goods to $92.5 billion in 2011 from $67bn in 2010. It projected imports of goods at bout $23.1 billion, resulting in a massive trade surplus of nearly $69.4 billion in 2011. This will expand the current account surplus to nearly $57.6 billion or around 33.5 per cent of GDP this year from $36.9 billion or nearly 27.8 per cent of GDP in 2010.

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