Last updated: 18 September, 2011

Kuwait posts 35% of budget income in two months

OPEC member Kuwait posted 35 percent of budget revenue estimates in the first two months of the fiscal year on the back of higher oil prices and output, according to official figures released Sunday.

The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest lender in the emirate, meanwhile, sharply raised its forecasts for revenues and budget surplus in the 2011/2012 fiscal year which began on April 1.

Actual income in April and May hit $17.3 billion or 35.4 percent of the $48.9 billion projected in the budget for the whole year, according to figures posted on the ministry of finance website.

Oil income in the two months came at $16.2 billion, or 93 percent of total revenue and 36 percent of projected oil revenue for the year at $44.7 billion, the figures showed.

Kuwait has calculated oil revenue in the budget at a conservative price of $60 a barrel and production of 2.2 million barrels per day while actual price has been around $110 dollars and output at around 2.8 million bpd.

NBK forecast Sunday that Kuwait would post record revenues of up to $113 billion and a budget surplus of around $50 billion due to sharp rises in oil prices and production, while the budget projects a deficit of $22 billion.

A month ago, NBK forecast a surplus of $41 billion.

The emirate posted a record income of $79 billion in the 2010/2011 fiscal year and a budget surplus of $19.5 billion.

Kuwait has been pumping way above its OPEC quota of 2.2 million bpd for the past several months.

Last week, Oil Minister Mohammad al-Baseeri said Kuwait raised its output to 2.9 million bpd and was headed to 3 million bpd, making it the third-largest OPEC producer behind Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The oil-rich Gulf state ended the past 12 fiscal years in the black, amassing budget surpluses of more than $200 billion.

Kuwait, which says it sits on 10 percent of proven global crude reserves, has also amassed assets of more than $300 billion run by the Kuwait Investment Authority, the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund.