Kazakh economy minister predicts 2.8% growth in 2017 on higher oil prices

By bne IntelliNews March 3, 2017

Kazakhstan’s Economy Minister Timur Suleimenov predicted in a March 2 interview with Reuters that higher-than-expected oil prices may push Kazakh GDP growth to 2.8%, above the government’s recently updated forecast of 2.5%.

The forecast would only be realised in the event that oil prices maintain an average of $55 a barrel or more this year. The Kazakh economy grew 1% in 2016, slowing from 2017's 1.2%. Kazakhstan revised its state budget in February, raising its expectation for the average Brent crude price to $50/bbl from $35/bbl.

Kazakhstan’s is hoping to produce up to 81mn tonnes of crude oil and gas condensate in 2017, despite its commitment to cut production by a nominal 20,000 bbl/d in the first half of the year. Kazakh oil output declined by 1.4% to 65.5mn tonnes in 2016.

Suleimenov said the cut commitement was based on November 2016 production levels when Kazakhstan's output was already high enough to maintain the desired results for 2017 thanks to the launch of the giant Kashagan oil field in October.

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