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, June 6, 2014

June 06, 2014

International Trade

Incoming cargo at Puerto Cabello:
  • 66,000 tons of rice for CASA. 33 thousand tons from the US and 33,000 tons from Brasil.
  • 31,600 tons of corn from Argentina.
  • 2,900 tons of MT Neodene from Shell Chemical for Química Venoco
  • 1,594 tons of paper and cardboard cutouts for Cartón de Venezuela
  • 1,045 tons of milk and cream for CASA
  • 900 tons of chicken and margarine from Jamaica, for CASA
  • 644 tons of fresh pork for CASA
  • 573 tons of paper from Pérez Trading for INVEPAL
  • 515 tons of sweetened condensed milk for Banco Nacional de Crédito
  • 436 tons of beans from Chile
  • 368 tons of roofing sheets from Fletes Consolidados
  • 314 tons of beef for Podra y Distribuidora
  • 291 tons of floor tiles for Hierro Cojedes Mérida
  • 247 tons of toilet paper from Jamaica, for Papeles Venezolanos.
  • 187 tons of expandable polymers from Polioles for Pequiven
  • 121 tons of building material for PDVSA
  • 85 tons of newsprint from Britain for Engelbert Transportes INT. 
  • 55 tons of type 1 cement for Invecem 55
  • Milk and cream, fresh pork and frozen beef for CASA
  • Sanitary napkins for Procter & Gamble
Exports from Puerto Cabello:
  • 414 tons of coaxial and electric cable for Chicago and Houston.

Some shippers have adjusted their rates to the SICAD II exchange rate
Some shipping lines have started to charge for their services and operations - among them the use of containers and container delays - using the SICAD II exchange rate (approximately VEB 50/U$D1). More in Spanish: (Notitarde;

Logistics & Transport

Venezuela now conditions airline repayment to tariff adjustments
Humberto Figuera, President of Venezuela's Airline Association (ALAV) says authorities have established a new and unforeseen condition for repaying the government's pending FOREX debt with airlines. He says that once repayment terms that are being established with some airlines are approved by the Ministry for Aquatic and Air Transport, and the Civil Aviation Authority, authorities are requesting a "tariff schedule" from the airlines. Figuera says that "if these tariffs are agreeable to authorities they go ahead with repayment; if they are not, payments are not scheduled. This is a new condition that was not set in agreements reached on May 29th". More in Spanish: (El Universal,; El Mundo,

CORPOVEX could cause shutdown of 3,000 customs agencies
The National Customs Agencies Association (ASONAGA) and the Chamber of Customs Users and Professionals (CADUAINCO) warn that CORPOVEX could replace customs agencies. Concerns are based on the latest FOREX tender under the First Ancillary Foreign Currency Administration System (SICAD 1), in which the National Center for Foreign Trade (CENCOEX) said purchase orders for FOREX can be placed via CORPOVEX only, instead of public banks. This means CORPOVEX will become the broker. (El Universal,

Oil & Energy

PDVSA signed agreements with ENI and REPSOL to exploit condensed reserves (natural gas liquids) in the Perla 3X gas field, located off shore Falcón state, 50 kilometers off the Paraguaná Refining Complex. In 2010, the three oil companies concluded tests that confirmed the existence of 15 billion cubic feet gas in that field. (Veneconomy,; El Universal,; Latin American Herald Tribune,

Economy & Finance

PDVSA expected to seek bank loan to pay off bonds due in 2014
Petroleos de Venezuela S.A (PDVSA) is seeking a loan to pay off U$D 3 billion of debt that matures this year and isn’t planning additional dollar bond sales in 2014, according to a company official familiar with the matter. PDVSA expects to obtain a seven- to eight-year loan from an international bank and then work to refinance an additional U$D 11.9 billion of debt due through 2017, according to the official, who asked not to be identified. The plan to limit debt sales for the rest of the year comes after the company said May 14 that it was selling U$D 5 billion in notes due in 2024 in a private placement to state banks. Barclays Psaid the next day that it expected PDVSA’s new issuance for the year to exceed its previously forecast amount of U$D 6 billion because of a shortage of dollars in the country and a “large concentration of payments” due in the last quarter of the year. (Bloomberg,

Lower gold price puts further pressure on Venezuelan international reserves
Gold prices have entered a downward spiral which, if unstopped, will have a serious impact on Venezuela, as gold makes up 70.7% of the country's international reserves. Early on Thursday, the gold price was estimated at U$D 1,246 per ounce, which means a U$D 46 drop (3.5%) with respect to May. US multinational investment banking firm Goldman Sachs estimates that the downturn will continue until gold averages U$D 1,050 during the rest of the year. (El Universal,

Venezuela sacrifices drinking water to pay bondholders
At a time when Venezuela’s record U$D 25 billion in arrears to importers has its citizens waiting hours in line to buy drinking water and crossing borders in search of medicine, President Nicolas Maduro is using the nation’s dwindling supply of dollars to enrich bondholders. Venezuela, which imports just about everything, and its state oil producer have paid U$D 2.8 billion in interest to overseas creditors this year, according to Barclays. Including debt principal, bondholder outlays will balloon to almost U$D 10 billion by year-end, the London-based firm estimates. (Bloomberg,


Lopez and students to remain in jail until trial, Capriles terms Venezuela's justice "rotten"
A Venezuelan judge has ordered opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to stand trial on charges of instigating violence at an anti-government protest in February. Lopez of the Popular Will party has been in jail since he handed himself in to the authorities on 18 February. If found guilty, Lopez could face up to 10 years in jail. Judge Adriana Lopez made the decision to send Lopez for trial shortly after 03:00 (07:30 GMT) after a marathon session which began on Monday. Lilian Tintori, Lopez's wife said he would face charges of damaging property, arson and instigating violence. Attorneys for López expect the trial to be held toward the end of August, and believe it will be very short as the defense has been denied the right to present witnesses and evidence to prove his innocence. Two students, Marco Coello and Christian Holdack, who have been behind bars since February on charges of alleged "public instigation, arson, damages and collusion" will also remain in jail and face a trial. Upon learning the news, former opposition Presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said the decision has hatched by the regime and called Venezuela's system of justice "rotten". (BBC; Veneconomy,; El Universal,;; and more in Spanish: Infolatam)

Prosecutor summons Machado and other opposition leaders for alleged assassination plot
Following charges by Jorge Rodríguez, a leader of the pro-government PSUV party, of a plot to assassinate President Maduro and stage a "military coup", Venezuela's General Prosecutor Luisa Ortega has issued warrants summoning deposed legislator María Corina Machado, Ambassador Diego Arria, former President of the UN Security Council; former Presidential candidate Henrique Salas-Römer; former PDVSA director Pedro Burelli, and others to her office to "pursue this investigation". Rodríguez went on nationwide radio and TV to show several emails allegedly sent by Machado to several of the individuals now summoned. The mails also mentioned the new US Ambassador to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker. Machado has accused Rodríguez of presenting fake emails, and denies seeking an assassination or a coup. She simply asks Maduro to resign. More in Spanish: (Infolatam)

International Jurists Commission says Venezuela's 'very weak' judiciary undermines rule of law
Venezuela's judiciary is persecuting students, dissidents and independent judges while turning a blind eye to most crimes in a country with one of the world's highest murder rates, says an international human rights watchdog. About 1,500 students face prosecution after three months of street protests this year with no evidence they took part in any criminal act, including about 160 still behind bars, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said. Forty-two people, including 38 civilians, were killed in the daily marches to decry crime, inflation and food shortages in Venezuela. Excessive use of force by security forces has been documented as well as least 14 alleged cases of torture. (Reuters,

US says the decision to keep López in jail hurts "dialogue"
Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the US State Department, says the decision to keep López in jail while awaiting trial is "damaging" to the dialogue between the regime and the Venezuelan opposition. She added that the US government believes "dialogue is the way to go" in Venezuela, and "not political arrests and an attempt to criminalize dissent". More in Spanish: (El Universal,

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.

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