Venezuelan Daily Brief

Published in association with The DVA Group and The Selinger Group, the Venezuelan Daily Brief provides bi-weekly summaries of key news items affecting bulk commodities and the general business environment in Venezuela.

Friday, July 13, 2012

July 13th, 2012

Economics & Finance

Central Bank claims reserves are adequate
Eudomar Tovar, first Vice President of the Central Bank claims international reserves are holding at a level adequate to the nation's needs. He says total reserves are currently at U$D 27.772 billion, and operating reserves available for imports and debt service are over U$D 4 billion. (El Universal, 07-13-2012;

Rise in debt increases risk of devaluation
Despite a prolonged boom in oil prices, internal government debt rose 262% over the past six years. It is now starting to increase massively. The Annual Debt Law had authorized the government to generate new debt up to VEB 64.3 billion, and it has done so at such a speed that the National Assembly is about to authorize an extra VEB 30 billion for bonds and treasury bills. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 07-13-2012;;  El Nacional;

Government claims Chavez government has created 4 million jobs.
Speaking to the official news agency, Elias Eljuri, head of the government's National Statistics Institute claims that over the past 11 years some 4 million jobs have been created. More in Spanish: (AVN, 07-13-2012;ávez)


Venezuela spent U$D 288 million importing gasoline from the US
The decay in domestic refining within Venezuela, plus increasing internal consumption have led Venezuela to import not only ingredients for producing oil byproducts, but also gasoline and liquid gas, according to statistics from the US Commerce Department which show Venezuela as importing 15,800 barrels per day in gasoline from December 2011 through April 2012. Using the average price of U$D 122 per gasoline barrel, it is estimated that around U$D 288 million has been spend on importing gasoline within those months. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 07-13-2012;

India state oil firms plan to boost Venezuela investments
Indian state-run oil companies plan to boost investments in Venezuela and source higher volumes of crude oil from the South American country, India's junior industry minister said on Wednesday. An Indian consortium led by ONGC Videsh, the overseas investment arm of oil explorer ONGC, plans to invest U$D 2.2 billion in the Carabobo oil fiaeld project, and another U$D 500 million in the San Cristobel oil field, Jyotiraditya Scindia said in a statement. (Reuters, 07-11-2012;; El Universal;; Fox Business,

Government does not want others to export coke
Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza says that the mountains of coke accumulating around the Jose refining plant in Anzoátegui state is due to the fact that the government "does not want others to take coke away". He acknowledged environmental concerns over the very large accumulation of coke in the area. Arreaza is President Chavez's son-in-law. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 07-13-2012;

FORTUNE ranks PDVSA among the 40 largest companies in the world
The state-run Petroleos de Venezuela is ranked 36 of the largest companies in the world, according to annual rankings compiled by FORTUNE magazine. PDVSA came in two steps under Mexico's PEMEX, with revenues at U$D 124.754 billion. More in Spanish: (Ultimas Noticias, 07-12-2012;

International Trade

Brazilian FM defends Venezuela's entry into Mercosur
Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota on Wednesday once again advocated the entry of Venezuela into the Common Market of the South and the suspension of Paraguay from the bloc. He added that such move is intended to send a "clear" message against "anti-democratic adventures." Patriota appeared before the Foreign Relations Committee, Brazilian Senate, and replied to criticism from some opposition legislators who rejected the decisions made by Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay to suspend Paraguay and allow Venezuela to join the bloc, Efe said. (El Universal, 07-11-2012;

VENAMCHAM reports 42% increase in imports from the USA
Carlos Tejera, General Manager of the Venezuelan American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VENAMCHAM) reports that while Venezuelan exports to the US dropped by 8%, imports from the US rose 42% during the first five months of the year. It is outstanding that oil imports rose 457% from 2011 to 2012. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 07-13-2012;

Imports from China increased 49% in one year
Imports from China increased 49% in a year for a total of U$D 1.7 billion between January and April 2012. This amounts to 13.4% of all imports, and places the Asian nation as a second source of the Venezuelan economy, according to data released by the National Institute of Statistics. More in Spanish: (El Nacional, 07-12-2012;

Logistics & Transport

19 vessels remain at bay in Puerto Cabello, and La Guaira is unable to receive vessels
A total of 19 food-bearing vessels remain at bay in Puerto Cabello, waiting to dock. The ships are carrying bulk cargo such as yellow corn, malt, rice, soybeans, and livestock, and six are bearing containers. The option of diverting vessels from Puerto Cabello to the port of La Guaira is not available as the latter port is not operating at 100% capacity, according to Neidy Rosal, a member of the Carabobo State Legislative Council, who called for an improvement in offloading conditions at Puerto Cabello. More in Spanish: (El Carabobeño, 07-12-2012;


Chavez hits campaign trail in bid to prove he’s cancer-free
President Hugo Chavez is hitting the campaign trail in an attempt to persuade voters his battle with cancer hasn’t diminished his vitality ahead of what’s shaping up to be his toughest election. Mounted on a float-like truck, he attended a rally in the oil producing state of Anzoátegui on the northeastern coast and plans to hold a similar event in Barquisimeto in central Lara state July 14. The rallies are the first since the former tank commander marked the official start of campaigning July 1 with a caravan and speech in Maracay, 50 miles west of Caracas. (Bloomberg, 07-12-2012;

Romney slams Obama for playing down threat of Hugo Chavez
Republican Mitt Romney chided President Barack Obama on Wednesday for playing down "the threat" posed by Hugo Chavez as he sought to portray the Democrat as soft on national security, an issue that may resonate with Latino voters in November's election. Romney was reacting to remarks Obama made to a Spanish language television station that Chavez's actions over recent years had "not had a serious national security impact" on America. (Reuters, 07-12-2012;; El Universal, 07-11-2012;; The Washington Post,; CNN,; Fox News,; The Wall Street Journal,

Chavez says he seeks friendly relations with Catholic Church leaders
President Hugo Chavez says he’s seeking friendly relations with representatives of the Roman Catholic Church.
Their dealings have been tense in the past. Church representatives have accused the socialist leader of becoming increasingly authoritarian and Chavez has strongly criticized Cardinal Jorge Urosa, saying he has misled the Vatican with warnings that Venezuela is drifting toward dictatorship. (The Washington Post, 07-11-2012;; Fox News,

National Elections Board proposes pact on election rules, Chavez quickly says he will sign
The pro-government majority National Elections Board has set forth an agreement for presidential candidates to respect election results, and avoid violence. President Hugo Chavez was quick to say he would sign immediately, while opposition leaders - and the only independent Elections Board member - say the agreement failed to include provisions on the use of government funds and resources, and the abuse of media time by the government in favor of Mr. Chavez. More in Spanish: (AVN, 07-13-2012;;ávez-anuncia-que-firmará-acuerdo-electoral-propuesto-cne)

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