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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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