Oil over USD 50 per bbl for the first time in 2016
Time to reassess the state’s budget plans? Brent crude prices rose above USD 50 per bbl on Thursday for the first time in 2016 “as a decline in US stockpiles accelerated a rebound from a 12-year low,” according to Bloomberg. “The rebalancing is under way … Ultimately, the rebalancing remains dependent on an ongoing contraction in U.S. shale-oil production, and current prices are potentially throwing a lifeline to U.S. shale producers,” Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS Group AG in Zurich, said. For Egypt, this means that the Finance Ministry may need to revisit its base assumptions for FY2016-17 budget. According to the budget report presented to parliament last week, the government is basing its projections on an average oil price of USD 40 per bbl. Planning Minister Ashraf Al Araby confirmed as much in a statement on Egypt’s growth targets and metrics for the current and next fiscal year on Saturday, Al Borsa reports. Changes to the budget could take place during the House Planning Committee’s deliberations on the document, he added. The Finance Ministry had stated previously that a hike of USD 1 per barrel in the price of oil, would lead to a EGP 1.1 bn spike in the budget deficit.