Prepayments Save KRG From Export Revenue Collapse

Outages of its export pipeline to Turkey and the withholding of crude from Kirkuk mean exports of crude from Iraqi Kurdistan fell by 23,000 b/d in March. Sales volumes fell even further, but the region’s immediate cash balance was boosted by prepayments and a foreign loan.

The $557mn brought in is still far below the $800mn the government required just to pay salaries before it announced pay cuts in February (MEES, 5 February).

Official KRG figures show sales from the Turkish port of Ceyhan falling by a huge 28% from February, itself a six month low (MEES, 11 March). The impact on takings was mitigated by a hefty rise in crude prices: Brent front month futures averaged $39.83/B in March, up from $33.53/B. But nonetheless the value of Kurdish exports fell by 8% to $260mn last month, according to MEES calculations, the lowest since April 2015.


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