- Nigeria Gains $22m From Bonny Light Crude in December
The price of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude oil was the second highest in December among members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC), rising from $42.20 in November to $53.91 per barrel.
This means the country gained about $11.71 per barrel in December. Nigeria therefore, may have added $22 million to its foreign exchange earnings when multiplied by current production of 1.9 million barrels per day in December.
The gain also boosts Nigeria’s capacity to fund its N7.3 trillion 2017 budget, and if the gains continue, may reduce the dependence on external borrowings to fund the budget and other development projects.
Besides, the World Bank expects oil prices to average $55/barrel in 2017, an increase of 29 per cent above the 2016 average price.Also, Global crude oil balances is expected to tighten through 2018, the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) said last week in a statement.
Analysis from OPEC reference basket revealed Abu Dhabi’s Murban crude oil as the only blend ahead of Bonny Light at the international market in December.
Giving a full year analysis of the price movement, OPEC said the light sweet crude from West and North Africa’s Basket components, Saharan Blend, Es Sider, Girassol, Bonny Light and Gabon’s Rabi, gained $8.53, or 19.1 per cent, to $53.10 during the month under review.
Speaking on rebalancing the oil market, the Secretary-Generals of OPEC, Muhammad Barkindo, said it is essential that all producers, both OPEC and non- OPEC, take coordinated action to return stability to the market.
“This is not only vital for the short term, but the long term too, as our industry looks to fund investment in new exploration and production, arrest decline rates in existing fields, expand midstream and downstream capacity, and hire, train and support the people that will continue to drive this industry forward in the years ahead.”
Meanwhile, the World Bank said in its Commodity Markets Outlook for 2017 released last Wednesday, that the increase largely reflects partial compliance to the recent agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers.
According to World Bank, the market is expected to tighten in 2017, particularly in the second half of the year, which would reduce the large stock overhang.
It added that onshore U.S. lower-48 states oil production, including shale, is projected to bottom out in the second quarter of 2017, and rise moderately thereafter.
The Bank noted that prices may increase to $60 barrels in 2018, assuming a balanced market and no additional OPEC supply restraint.It stated: “Crude oil prices jumped 10 per cent in the fourth quarter, averaging $49.1 barrels, following agreements by both OPEC and non-OPEC producers to reduce output by nearly 1.8 million barrels per day in the first half of 2017.
“The oil market continues to rebalance amid steady demand growth, while sharply lower in- vestment in non-OPEC countries has led to lower production, notably in the U.S. shale oil sector.”
Also, the EIA estimates that crude oil and other liquids inventories grew by two million barrels per day (bpd) in the fourth quarter of 2016, driven by an increase in production and a significant, but seasonal, drop in consumption.
Global production and consumption are both projected to increase through 2018, but consumption is expected to increase at a faster rate than production. As a result, global balances are expected to tighten.
The EIA noted that the production increase in the fourth quarter of 2016 largely reflects members of OPEC ramping up production in advance of implementing the November agreement on production cuts.
Nigeria’s Petroleum Resources Minister, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, had expressed optimism that the price of crude would rise to a level that is neither too high nor too low.
He said although crude oil appears to have fallen into bad times because of prevailing low price and the campaign against the use of fossil fuels for environmental reasons, the product would soon rise up to take its place as the prime global energy source.
Cuba’s Central Bank Suspends US Dollar Deposits Nationwide
Cuba, the island country located where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean meet, said this week U.S. dollars will be suspended in the country.
The mandate comes from the country’s central bank and foreign tourists have been told to leave U.S. dollars at home when visiting. The announcement was invoked at a roundtable discussion that was aired on state-sponsored Cuban television.
“In view of the obstacles that the U.S. embargo creates for the national bank system to deposit abroad the U.S. dollars that are collected in the country, a decision was made to temporarily suspend deposits in U.S. banknotes in Cuba’s bank and financial system,” the Central Bank of Cuba (Banco Central de Cuba, BCC) members said.
Yamilé Berra Cires, the vice president of the BCC, explained during the roundtable discussion that at the beginning of the Trump administration’s leadership, the U.S. tightened the embargo’s grip. The United States has had an embargo with Cuba since 1958 and the U.S. has had numerous issues with Cuba during the Eisenhower presidency and Kennedy presidency as well. After the 2008 crisis, the U.S. and Cuba seemed to gravitate toward friendlier terms during the Obama presidency.
However, BCC vice president Berra Cires claims issues have gotten worse since Trump and said 24 foreign banks stopped dealing with Cuba. Berra Cires also said during the roundtable discussion that 95 foreign financial institutions reported on the transgressions of Cuban national banks doing business with counterparties. “It is ever more difficult for Cuba to find international banking or financing institutions willing to receive, convert or process U.S. currency in cash,” Berra Cires further remarked.
“People who will be coming into the country during this time will have to arrive with a currency other than the dollar,” Francisco Mayobre Lence the BCC’s first vice president said.
Of course, after hearing about the USD ban in Cuba, members of the cryptocurrency community wanted Cuba to adopt digital currencies like El Salvador recently did with bitcoin. “It’s like [a] 50-year embargo. It’s really depressing,” one individual wrote about the Cuba situation with America on Reddit. “Will they take crypto now?” another Redditor asked in the r/cryptocurrency thread. Another crypto enthusiast responded to the question and said:
I doubt they want to be the last Latin American country to do so.
Minister-president of the Cuban central bank, Marta Sabina Wilson González explained during the roundtable discussion that Cuba had no choice but to make the decision. “We had no choice but to take this measure, which we are explaining at the Round Table, as we always do when it is a measure that affects the people, who will understand that there is no other option,” the minister detailed.
Kenya Receives $750 Million Loan from World Bank to Boost Economic Recovery
Kenya has received a $750 million loan from the World Bank to support its budget and help the East African economy recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the multilateral lender said on Friday.
The Kenyan government has been pushing hard to secure foreign funding to fill a wide budget deficit before its financial year closes at the end of this month.
The $750 million disbursement is part of World Bank’s Development Policy Operations (DPO), which lends cash for budget support instead of financing specific projects.
The bank said some of the funds would go towards setting up an electronic procurement system for government goods and services to improve transparency.
The World Bank said the concessional loan will have a 3.1% annual interest rate. Typically, World Bank loans have zero or very low interest rates and have repayment periods of 25 to 40 years, with a five- or 10-year grace period.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Ukur Yatani presented to parliament the 2021/22 budget, with a deficit of 7.5% of gross domestic product, reduced from 8.7% for the current fiscal year ending this month.
The finance ministry forecasts a economic growth of 6.6% this year, recovering from 0.6% in 2020 when sectors like tourism and related services collapsed due to restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The World Bank forecasts Kenya’s economy will grow 4.5% this year, and 4.7% in 2022.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who took the helm in 2013, has overseen a jump in public borrowing. Total debt stands at 70% of GDP, up from about 45% when he took over – a surge that some politicians and economists say is saddling future generations with too much debt.
The government has defended the increased borrowing, saying the country must invest in its infrastructure, including roads and railways.
FG Spends N612.7 Billion on Domestic Debt Servicing in Q1 2021
The latest report from the Debt Management Office (DMO) has revealed that the Federal Government spent a total sum of N612.71 billion on domestic debt servicing in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021.
In the report released on Wednesday, the DMO said the Federal Government paid holders of mature Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTB) N17.23 billion in January, N12.3 billion in February and N5.49 billion in March 2021. Indicating that the Federal Government paid a combined sum of N35.03 billion to NTB holders in Q1 2021.
Similarly, the Federal Government paid N537.783 billion to holders of Federal Government of Nigeria bonds in three instalments of N201.95 billion in January, N79.26 billion in February and N256.58 billion in March 2021.
The Federal Government also paid N308.38 million in three tranches to subscribers of mature FGN Savings Bond. FG paid N111.65 million in January, N97.074 million in February and N99.65 million in March 2021.
Another N8.16 billion was used to settle FGN Sukuk Rentals in March 2021. No payment was made in January and February 2021.
The Federal Government released N31.44 billion as principal repayment “in respect of promissory notes during the quarter under review.
A monthly breakdown revealed that a total sum of N219.29 billion was released to service domestic debts in January, N123.09 billion in February and N270.33 billion in March. Therefore, bringing the total amount spent on domestic debt servicing in the first quarter of 2021 to N612.71 billion.
Nigeria’s total debt rose to N33.1 trillion in the first quarter of 2021, according to the report released by the DMO.
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