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.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 06th, 2012

Economics & Finance

Chávez says Venezuela's foreign indebtedness is only 25% of GDP, and points out that US foreign indebtedness is 300%. More in Spanish: (AVN, 11-06-2012;ávez-deuda-externa-venezuela-apenas-llega-al-25-sobre-producto-interno-bruto)

"Public and private enterprises working jointly are one way to build socialism", according to President Chavez, who added: "Venezuelan socialism includes all: professionals, media, businessmen. Do not listen to those crying wolf, I call upon all to work with us as many already are." More in Spanish: (AVN, 11-06-2012;ública-y-privada-es-una-vía-para-construcción-del-soci)

SITME transactions rose by 56%, as CADIVI operations remain stagnant
According to the Síntesis Financiera publication, CADIVI approved U$D 22.9 in foreign exchange operations, only 4.6% above the same time frame in 2011; wile SITME approved U$D 6.8 billion, rising by 56%. This trend indicates imports are moving toward the SITME system, which uses VEB 5.30 to the U$D as a reference. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 11-06-2012;

Formal employment slowing down in Venezuela, according to the Labor Situation Report for Latin America and the Caribbean, prepared jointly by the UN Commission for Latin America and the International Labor Organization. The report shows a slight drop in formal employment during the first half of 2012. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 11-06-2012;


Gasoline imports from the US jump to 34,000 bpd in August
Data released by the US Department of Energy shows that Venezuela purchased gasoline made in the US consistently from December 2011 through August 2012. March was the only exception. Most recent information from August this year, indicates that the US dispatched 34,000 gasoline barrels per day to Venezuela in that month. It was the highest figure since February 2003, when Venezuela imported 36,000 barrels of gasoline from the US amid a temporary halt in the operations of the oil industry caused by a national civic strike. (El Universal, 11-05-2012;

Fuel imports from Colombia rose by 91% this year, according to Colombia's National Statistics Department (DANE), which indicates Venezuela imported U$D 402.5 million in fuel this year, and are the top trade item between both countries.  Venezuela also imported U$D 214 million in animal stock and related products, and U$D 199 million in chemicals. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 11-06-2012;

PDVSA also comes up empty off Cuba
A well drilled by state oil giant PDVSA in Cuban waters of the Gulf of Mexico also has turned up dry, the Communist-ruled island’s official media reported Friday. This latest well, drilled with the Chinese-built Scarabeo 9 rig, “offers no possibility for commercial development,” the press reported Friday, citing a statement by Cuban state oil firm CUBAPETROLEO. (Latin American Herald Tribune, 11-02-2012;;

TNK-BP production up in Venezuela
Russian energy company TNK-BP said oil production from its joint venture in Venezuela increased 18% during the first nine months of the year. PETROMONAGAS, a joint venture between TNK-BP and Venezuelan state energy company Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, was 35.5 million barrels through September, an 18% increase from the same time last year. Boris Zilbermints, a vice president for international projects at TNK-BP, said Venezuela is key to the company's overseas portfolio. (UPI, 11-01-2012;

Aluminum industry operates at 29% capacity
Primary aluminum output in Guayana, south Venezuela, continues to dwindle. Aluminum makers Venalum and CVG Alcasa comprise 1,301 cells, yet only 387 cells are operative. Both companies are running at 29% of their installed capacity. Operating problems are due to unsolved shortages of spare parts and raw material. Moreover, nearly 40% of personnel is absent amid poor transportation. In CVG Alcasa, low availability of cranes is accountable for production decline. (El Universal, 11-05-2012;

Steel and cement to be imported by "socialist" builders, says Gerson Hernández, head of the Bolivarian Construction Chamber, who indicated housing projects for next year require additional inputs. He indicated negotiations are under way to import 180 thousand metric tons of steel and 100 thousand metric tons of cement from countries such as Argentina, Perú and Italy. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 11-06-2012;; El Mundo,

Agricultural imports rose 99.6% in one year, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE), which indicated purchases abroad in these items rose to U$D 2.533 billion during the first semester this year, up from U$D 1.269 billion during the first semester 2011. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 11-06-2012;; El Nacional;

International Trade

"MERCOSUR is a way to increase trade with Northern Brazil", according to President Chavez, who says the area has a population above 60 million, and "of incalculable potential for trade and the development of Venezuela and Brazil". More in Spanish: (AVN, 11-06-2012;ón-mercosur-amplía-perspectivas-crecimiento-países-región)

Imports from Colombia up 70% in January-August
Venezuela-Colombia bilateral trade has been reactivated, clearly benefiting Colombian entrepreneurs in view of the rapid rise of sales to Venezuela. Data handled by the National Administrative Statistics Department of Colombia (DANE) shows that from January through August this year, Venezuela purchased U$D 1.77 billion in goods from Colombia, that is, 70% above the figure recorded during the same period in 2011 (U$D 1.04 billion). Meanwhile, Venezuelan exports to Colombia are growing at a much slower pace, reporting only a 12.3% increase from January through August 2012. (El Universal, 11-05-2012;

Logistics & Transport

Incoming cargo processing can take 20 to 30 days due to excessive controls, according to Cipriana Ramos, president of Fedecámaras in Vargas state. She said controls applied by CADIVI, SENIAT, sanitary authorities, the National Guard, Customs and the Agriculture Health Institute also bring on added cost. She says that at La Guaira Port the waiting period can go up to around 30 days. More in Spanish: (Notitarde, 11-06-2012;; El Carabobeño,


A victory by Obama or Romney will not bring change in bilateral relations, says President Chavez who also saluted the Sandinista victory in municipal elections in Nicaragua. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 11-06-2012;

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