December 7, 2018 / 10:50 AM / 2 days ago

UPDATE 1-Kazakh central bank cuts oil output forecast for 2018-19

(Adds context, govt forecast as background)

ALMATY, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s central bank has trimmed its forecast for the country’s oil output in 2019 and said it expects Brent crude oil to average $60 a barrel next year.

The bank said in a statement on Friday that it expects the country to produce 91 million tonnes of oil next year, down from its previous estimate of 93 million tonnes, and taking into account scheduled maintenance work at oilfields.

It also reduced its forecast for oil production this year to 90 million tonnes from 91 million tonnes.

The new forecasts would still be above forecasts in the government’s budget for oil production of 87 million tonnes this year and 88 million tonnes in 2019.

Oil is the Central Asian nation’s chief export and the bank said it expects the price of Brent crude oil to average $71.80 a barrel this year and $60 next year. Brent was trading at $60 a barrel on Friday.

The central bank also cut its forecast for Kazakhstan’s 2018 current account deficit to 1.2 percent of gross domestic product, from 2.3 percent in its previous outlook.

However, it said it now expected the current account deficit to widen to 3.9 percent of GDP next year, from 3.8 percent in its previous forecast, due to lower oil prices and slower growth in oil production than it previously forecast.

Reporting by Almaty Newsroom; writing by Tom Balmforth and Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Maria Kiselyova and Susan Fenton

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