Oil slump pushes Kuwait’s foreign trade surplus into nosedive

Kuwait’s foreign trade surplus plummeted in the first quarter as the oil price rout hit export earnings.

The amount between January and March fell 68 per cent to 1.74 billion Kuwaiti dinars (Dh21.1bn) from 5.4bn dinars in the year-earlier period, according to data from the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

The value of exports dropped 46 per cent year-on-year to 4bn dinars, while imports rose 11 per cent to 2.3bn dinars.


Crude exports accounted for nearly 90 per cent, or 3.62bn dinars, of all exports.

Vehicles led imports with a collective value of 346 million dinars, accounting for 14.9 per cent of all imports.

The benchmark Brent crude has lost 57 per cent of its value since peaking at US$115 a barrel in June last year. It closed down 0.9 per cent on Friday to $49.19 a barrel in London.

Oil prices have been declining as Opec keeps its taps open to maintain market share amid a supply glut.

Concerns about oil demand and the economic outlook in China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, and the strong US dollar have been weighing on energy prices.

dalsaadi@thenational.ae

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