Kaieteur News – Guyana’s Central Bank has projected that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2023 is expected to be 28.2 percent, a notable increase over the initial forecast of 25.1 percent. The financial systems regulator said this surge follows on the heels of a strong growth rate registered at half year. The bank noted that real oil GDP was 59.5 percent while the non-oil GDP growth was 12.3 percent.
Central Bank said the increase in GDP growth to 28.2 percent “places Guyana amongst the top five fastest growing economies.” The financial institution said this growth will be a direct result of continuous fiscal spending and accommodative monetary policies by the government.
With respect to its review of the economy’s half year performance, Central Bank was keen to note that export receipts grew by 39.2 percent or US$1.7 billion, bringing the total to US$6.1 billion. It said in a recently published report that the higher receipts stemmed from crude oil and sugar which grew by 49.3 percent and 6.1 percent respectively. In contrast, receipts from timber, bauxite, ‘other exports’, gold and rice declined by 24.5 percent, 19.8 percent, 17.2 percent, 8.7 percent and 1.6 percent respectively.
With respect to sugar export earnings, Central Bank said this amounted to US$6.8 million, 6.1 percent or US$0.4 million above the level at the end of June 2022. Kaieteur News understands that this outturn was attributed to a 7.0 percent increase in the average price for the commodity despite a 0.8 percent decline in the volume of sugar exported.
Further to this, Central Bank said the volume of sugar exported amounted to 10,453 metric tonnes or 85 metric tonnes less than the level exported for the same period in 2022. As a percent of total sugar exports, the USA under the USA Bulk accounted for 55.5 percent while the CARICOM region accounted for 44.3 percent, compared to 21.2 percent last year. It should be noted that the average export price for sugar increased by 7.0 percent or US$44.55 to US$652.25 per metric tonne, compared with US$609.70 per metric tonne at the end of June 2022.
As for rice export earnings, Central Bank said this amounted to US$102.4 million, 1.6 percent or US$1.7 million below the level for the same period last year, resulting from lower volume of rice exported despite a 4.9 percent increase in prices. The financial institution said the volume of rice exported amounted to 182,089 metric tonnes, 6.2 percent or 12,052 metric tonnes less than the 194,142 metric tonnes exported one year ago. This newspaper understands that the average export price of rice increased by 4.9 percent or US$26.15 to US$562.24 per metric tonne compared with US$536.09 per metric tonne at the end of June 2022.
According to the bank’s report, bauxite export earnings amounted to US$38.6 million, 19.8 percent or US$9.5 million below the value for the corresponding period in 2022, due to lower export volume despite higher average price. The volume of bauxite exported decreased by 28.7 percent or 92,898 metric tonnes to 230,526 metric tonnes.
As regards gold export receipts, this amounted to US$396.7 million, 8.7 percent or US$38 million below the end-June 2022 level of US$434.6 million. This was on account of a decline in the volume exported as prices improved. Central Bank said the volume of gold exported reduced by 11.1 percent or 27,020 ounces to 215,979 ounces as a result of lower declarations. The average export price per ounce of gold was also found to be higher by 2.7 percent or US$47.96 moving to US$1,836.59 per ounce from US$1,788.63 per ounce one year ago.
Turning to crude oil export earnings, Central Bank said this amounted to US$5,393.8 million, US$1,781.6 million higher than the same period one year ago. The bank’s report outlined that the volume of crude oil exported increased by 106 percent to 68.8 million barrels from 33.4 million barrels one year ago. This increase was due to a second Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) called Liza Unity which started production. The average export price received for crude oil decreased by 27.5 percent or US$29.72 to US$78.36 per barrel from US$108.08 per barrel one year ago.
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