EconSource: Gulf Petrochemical Producers to Push for EU Trade Deal

The main trade body representing petrochemicals producers in the Gulf, the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), plans to put pressure on European Union (EU) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) negotiators to reach a trade deal. GCC producers have been suffering since EU tariffs more than doubled at the start of last year when the two parties failed to reach a deal. The GPCA plans to send a letter to chief EU and GCC negotiators, the latest effort in a process that has dragged on for nearly three decades. [The National, 5/12/2015]

Tobruk government presents LD44 billion draft budget
The Tobruk government has presented the total figure for its draft budget for the 2015 financial year. The budget total is LD44 billion ($35 billion). The budget was presented to the cabinet on Tuesday for review and then it will go to the House of Representatives to formally approve. However, any approved funding decisions agreed by the Tobruk government are set to remain on paper until the political standoff in the country is settled. The internationally recognized government has no access to Libyan Central Bank funds and is thought to be operating on a bank loan. [Libya Monitor (subscription), 5/13/2015]

Egypt sees growth at 3 percent in second half of fiscal year
Egypt’s Planning Minister Ashraf al-Araby said on Wednesday the country’s average economic growth was expected to be 3 percent in the second half of the 2014/2015 fiscal year, compared with 5.6 percent in the first half of the year. Araby told reporters at a news conference that average economic growth for the current fiscal year would be 4 percent, or slightly above 4 percent. [Ahram Online, Reuters, 5/13/2015]

Iraq aims for record Basra oil exports in June with new grade
Iraq plans to export a record volume of crude oil from its southern ports in June, as it splits its production for the first time into two grades to resolve quality issues, trade sources have said.  This is Iraq’s second attempt this year to increase Basra crude exports to a record high. Iraq has allocated over 3.1 million barrels per day (bpd) of Basra crude to buyers in a preliminary June loading program, up from the usual monthly total of between 2.6 million and 2.7 million bpd, the sources said. The allocation includes 1.22 million bpd of the new Basra Heavy grade, nearly double the expected volume. The unexpected large supply of the new grade could pressure the market, especially as Asian buyers assess whether the oil is suitable for their refineries. [Reuters, 5/12/2015]

Also of interest
Volatile oil, Yemen concerns leave Gulf markets mixed | Reuters
MSCI upgrades, firmer oil may lift Gulf markets | Reuters
Saudi Arabia regulator suspends trade in Mobily shares | Reuters
Qatar’s consumer inflation falls in April | Reuters
Iraqi refinery may be destroyed in battle to save it | Reuters
Egypt to see $30 billion investment in coal industry by 2020 | Ahram Online
UAE to invest $2 billion in Egypt in next fiscal year in housing projects | DNE
Eastern Libya ports loading 1.25 million barrels of crude | Reuters