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, January 29, 2013

January 29th, 2013

Economics & Finance
Delayed economic decisions fuel inflation, shortages in Venezuela
After two months of uncertainty over necessary economic decisions, Vice-President Nicolás Maduro says President Hugo Chávez has approved several proposals to be announced by specific officials. He said these announcements will deal with the budget, management of gold reserves, price controls and resources for housing, and added that policies will be aimed at stimulating exports. Economist Asdrúbal Oliveros says delays on economic decisions have impacted inflation, which was 3.5% for December, whereas shortages were reported at 16.2% in December and continue to rise. (El Universal, 01-28-2013;; Bloomberg,

PDVSA will no longer issue dollar denominated bonds
Oil and Mining Minister and PDVSA President Rafael Ramírez says the state owned oil company will no longer issue dollar denominated bonds. "It will no longer be done", he said. The last such issue was placed privately with the Central Bank in April 2012. More in Spanish: (El Mundo, 01-29-2013;

....yet government plans call for U$D 600 billion over the next 6 years
On the other hand, Ramírez says they will "need U$D 600 billion to carry out the nation's plan" during 2013-19, and added that one of this year's objectives is to further housing programs by investing VEB 80 billion, recently approved by President Chavez in Havana. More in Spanish: (El Universal, 01-29-2013;; El Mundo,

Price brackets may be set on non-controlled products and services, including vehicles
Trade Minister Edmée Betancourt says her office has begun talks with several productive sectors in order to review cost structures and evaluate the possibility of fixing price brackets on products not subject to controls, including vehicles. She said they will seek fair prices "through common agreement". More in Spanish: (El Universal, 01-29-2013;

Maduro says Chavez asked him to seek rapprochement with the private sector
Vice-President Nicolás Maduro returned from Cuba and said President Hugo Chávez asked him to "send a message of encouragement to private entrepreneurs." (El Universal, 01-26-2013;

Despite a decade of currency controls, U$D 150 billion have fled
Currency controls have now been in place for ten years, since 22 January 2003 and are a permanent policy despite the rebound in crude-oil production rebounded and oil. Yet Barclays Capital's latest report shows that over this decade of currency controls capital flight reached U$D 150 billion. From 2007 to 2012 capital flight averaged U$D 20 billion per year, three times the average for the five years prior to the establishment of controls. (El Universal, 01-25-2013;

Government increases windfall tax on oil firms
Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez announced Venezuela is changing its oil windfall tax brackets through which the government raises income for social spending and other purposes. By broadening the standing sliding scale, state company PDVSA and foreign partners will have to pay the government 20% of income when oil sales are between U$D 55-80 per barrel, 80% if between U$D 80-100, 90% between U$D 100-110, and 95% above U$D 110. (Reuters, 01-28-2013;; More in Spanish: El Mundo,; El Universal,

Mining Corporation created and assigned to PDVSA
Oil and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez announced the creation of a Venezuelan Mining Corporation, attached to Petroleos de Venezuela and charged with administering government owned mines. PDVSA Industrial will be responsible for this corporation and it is estimated that this year's gold yield should be about 4 tons and 14 tons projected for 2019. More in Spanish: (El Mundo, 01-28-2013;

Chinese institutions will undertake national mining mapping
China's CITIC Construction, supervised by the Chinese National Bureau for Geological Surveying, and 5 other technical agencies including SINOPEC, an oil company involved in the exploration of the Orinoco Oil Belt, will carry out nationwide geological exploration that will quantify deposits of gold, diamonds, bauxite, iron phosphate and coltan through an agreement with the Venezuelan Government. More in Spanish: (El Nacional, 01-28-2013;

2012 export barrel averaged U$D 103.16/bbl., up U$D 1.91/bbl. in a strengthened market due to a more positive outlook on global economy and oil demand, says the Oil and Mining Ministry. (Veneconomy, 01-26-2013;

International Trade
MERCOSUR committed to present commercial proposals to the EU before October
MERCOSUR member nations have announced their commitment to present their first commercial offers on agricultural goods, services and products to the European Union no later than this year’s last quarter, within the framework of the negotiations between the two blocs as a result of an association agreement. (Veneconomy, 01-28-2013;

Venezuela and Poland sign cooperation agreement
Foreign Minister, Elias Jaua met with Poland's President Radoslaw Sikorsk in Santiago de Chile and signed a bilateral framework cooperation agreement between Poland and Venezuela. More in Spanish: (Ultimas Noticias, 01-27-2013;

Grain purchases abroad up 57% through October 2012
According to the National Statistics Institute, Venezuela spent U$D 1.130 billion on grain imports during the first 10 months of 2012, to supplement deficiencies in domestic production. This is 57.2% above the previous year, in basic grain imports from different countries; comprising 3.882 million metric tons of basic grains such as wheat, rice, corn, sorghum, oats and barley. More in Spanish: (El Mundo, 01-28-2013;

Logistics & Transport
Companies must post a VEB 3 million bond to operate at each Venezuelan port
The National Port Authority (BOLIPUERTOS) now required a VEB 3 million from bond companies operating at each Venezuelan port during 2013, applicable to 1886 operators nationwide - including shipping agents, stevedoring services, equipment and machinery leasing, and coal and sugar traders operating at La Ceiba port. If a company operates at three ports (i.e. Maracaibo, La Guaira y Puerto Cabello), the amount can go up to VEB 9 million as a separate bond is required for each terminal.  Small and medium companies will be hardest hit as the list includes cooperatives which lack capital and assets for bond collateral. Operators also say credit and insurance have risen out of proportion due to this requirement and many are analyzing profitability along with investments needed. More in Spanish: (El Carabobeño, 01-29-2013;

Port mobilization increased 17% in 2012
Water and Air Transportation Minister Elsa Gutierrez says there was an increase of 17% in cargo and container mobilization of cargo in the 6 major ports during 2012. More in Spanish: (El Mundo, 01-28-2013;

Government says no date for Chavez return has been set
Communication and Information minister Ernesto Villegas read a communiqué in Chile saying President Chavez's general evolution is favorable after a surgery undergone in Havana, Cuba, last December 11. He said Chavez began systemic medical treatment for underlying disease - cancer - and overcame a serious respiratory infection. Villegas also said the government does not want to create "false expectations" over his return to Venezuela. (AVN, 01-28-2013;; and more in Spanish: El Nacional;

National Assembly President plans to visit ailing Hugo Chavez in Cuba
The president of the National Assembly said he hopes to return to Cuba this week to see President Hugo Chavez, who is receiving additional treatment nearly seven weeks after undergoing cancer surgery. Diosdado Cabello expressed optimism about Chavez's condition. The president hasn't been seen or spoken publicly since before his Dec. 11 operation, but Cabello said he was encouraged by Chavez's recovery when he last saw him about two weeks ago. (Fox News, 01-27-2013;

Chavez signed letter to CELAC calls it the most important unity project in contemporary history
Vice President Nicolas Maduro read a lengthy typewritten letter bearing a signature of President Hugo Chavez to attendees of the second Summit of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The letter calls for strengthening regional unity and says the bloc "is the most important project of political, economic and social unity in our contemporary history." It also reiterates rejection of the "shameful imperial blockade" against Cuba and the "continuous colonization and now progressive militarization of the Malvinas islands," which it claims violates resolutions by the United Nations Organization. Analysts note that no photograph of President Chavez signing the letter was made available at the high level international meeting. (AVN, 01-28-2013;; El Universal,; Reuters,; The Washington Post,

The following brief is a synthesis of the news as reported by a variety of media sources. As such, the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Duarte Vivas & Asociados and The Selinger Group.

No comments:

Post a Comment