Azerbaijan significantly increased oil supplies to Asia in April 2020 due to growing demand in China, local media reported on May 14, citing analysts of Gazprombank.
"The volume of Azerbaijani oil shipment through Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in April was the highest in the previous 11 months, thanks to demand from China. As a result, a sharp increase in oil shipment to Asia was recorded in April - 2.2 times compared to March and 2.8 times compared to April 2019," analysts reported.
According to the bank's analysts, increase of oil sales to China will support growth of Azerbaijan's economy amid low oil prices.
"Additional support from the oil and gas sector will allow Azerbaijan to demonstrate positive growth rates in the first half of the year, after which we expect the non-oil sector to return to growth as restrictions are lifted and economic activity recovers. In this regard, the non-oil sector will continue to support the economy in the medium term against the background of further measures for its development," the analysts reported.
According to the results of January-April 2020, Azerbaijan's nominal GDP amounted to AZN 22.4 billion ($13.2bn) and real growth was 0.2 percent.
"The growth of the Azerbaijani economy continued to slow down, but remains in the zone of positive values despite unfavorable external factors. It is interesting that if during the first three months of this year the non-oil sector supported the growth of the economy (its contribution to GDP in the first 4 months of 2020 came close to 65 percent), in April the balance sheet again shifted to the oil and gas industry, which allowed to maintain positive growth rates in the economy", emphasize analysts of the bank.
According to the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan, under restrictive measures due to coronavirus COVID-19, the non-oil sector showed a decline of 0.8 percent in the 4 months of 2020 against growth of 2.1 percent in the same period last year.
"This gives grounds to believe that the positive growth of total GDP for this period was provided by the oil and gas industry," analysts stressed.
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