ASTANA, Sept 15 Kazakhstan's economy ministry
has based its medium-term economic outlook on a Brent crude
price of $35 per barrel, it said on Thursday, implying
reduced earnings from oil and gas exports and putting pressure
on the tenge exchange rate.
The tenge would average 360 per dollar in 2017-2019 under
such a scenario, the ministry said in a presentation, compared
with a prevailing rate of 338.86 per dollar.
The Kazakh currency has lost nearly half of its value
against the dollar since last August when the authorities in the
Central Asian nation abandoned their pegged exchange rate policy
due to the oil price slump.
The tenge will begin strengthening alongside oil prices in
2020-2021, according to government forecasts.
Based on the same crude price assumption, oil output would
increase to 79.5 million tonnes next year from 75.5 million
tonnes expected this year, the economy ministry said.
This will include 4.0 million tonnes from Kashagan, the
mammoth offshore field due to start commercial production next
month after years of delays and technical problems.
In 2020, the ministry expects Kashagan's output to plateau
at 13.0 million tonnes while the country's total production will
reach 86.5 million tonnes.
Kazakhstan's gross domestic product growth will accelerate
to 1.9 percent next year from 0.5 percent this year, according
to the outlook, and continue strengthening to reach 3.1 percent
(Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov;
Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)