Kuwait’s crude oil exports to China increased by 37.5% in April 2017, from a year earlier, to reach 1.63m tons, which is equivalent to 397,000b/d, reported Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

According to the General Administration of Customs, Kuwaiti shipments of crude oil to China exceeded 300,000b/d for the second consecutive month.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s current account recorded its first deficit in 2016, on the back of a decline in export earnings. The balance on Kuwait’s current account fell from a surplus of 3.5% of GDP in 2015 to a deficit of 4.5% in 2016. The deficit was largely a result of a continued deterioration in the goods balance, as oil export earnings declined on weaker oil prices.

Despite the deficit, Kuwait’s external position remains strong, with a high level of external asset holdings and low external breakeven oil price, informed Kuwait Times.

The balance on the current account is expected to return to a surplus in 2017 as oil prices improve. The current account is projected to return to a surplus of around 2% of GDP in 2017.