May 1, 6:33 AM EDT

Iraq says oil exports, revenues increase in April


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BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq says April crude oil exports have increased by 2.3 percent from the previous month, filling cash-strapped coffers amid an acute economic crisis.

Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad, said Sunday that daily oil exports averaged 3.364 million barrels last month, worth $3.343 billion. March exports stood at 3.286 million barrels per day, bringing that month's revenues to $2.9 billion.

Jihad added that last month's average price was $33.257 per barrel. Iraq's 2016 budget is based on an expected price of $45 per barrel.

Iraq holds the world's fourth largest oil reserves, and oil revenues make up nearly 95 percent of its budget. Its economy was badly hit by the plunge in oil prices at a time when Baghdad is struggling to combat the Islamic State group.

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