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, October 21, 2014

October 21, 2014

International Trade

Cargo arrived at Puerto Cabello:

  • Over 19,000 tons of NPK fertilizer from Russia's Ojsc Phosogro Cherepovets for BARIVEN
  • 6,000 tons of rice from Guyana's National Rice Development Board for Corporación de Abastecimientos y Servicios Agrícolas (CASA)
  • 2,500 tons of beef in 75 containers from Las Camelias S.A, Soychu, BRF BR Food S.A and Noelma S.A for CASA.
  • Over 1,600 tons of beans from Paramericana S.A., for CASA
  • Over 1,440 tons of milk in 45 containers from Uruguay's ALMAR.
  • Over 200 tons of paper from Shenker and Kimberly-Clark for Industria Venezolana del Papel (INVEPAL)
  • Over 200 tons of tires for cargo vehicles for Venezuela's Foreign Trade Corporation (CORPOVEX)
More in Spanish: (Notitarde;;


Logistics & Transport

Added airfares are being sold in U$ dollars

American Airlines and LUFTHANSA have added flights to service Venezuela, and COPA Airlines will use a larger aircraft, but airline sources have confirmed that the new tickets are sold in US$ dollars, and adds: "Airlines are selling the bare minimum in local currency in order to maintain operating costs in Venezuela, and you can see it in lower FOREX requests at the National Foreign Trade Center (CENCOEX) this year. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


CONFERRY service to Margarita island down from 9 to 2 vessels

Alfredo Mariño, mayor of Porlamar in Margarita Island says state owned CONFERRY running service between the island and the mainland is down to 2 vessels, down from 9. He adds that time is running short for container arrivals needed to meet Christmas season demand for the resort area. More in Spanish: (El Mundo,


Oil & Energy

PDVSA confirms one-off import of light crude oil

Venezuelan state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) confirmed that it is importing light crude oil to dilute the extra heavy oil of the Orinoco Oil Belt, the world's largest oil reservoir. PDVSA said that "the situational acquisition" of light crude oil seeks to reduce costs by replacing the expensive naphtha it has been using to dilute over the past years (El Universal,


Economy & Finance

BOFA says that falling oil prices create a "grave risk" for Venezuela

A report by Bank Of America Merrill Lynch (BOFA) warns that if oil prices continue falling Venezuela will need US$ 12 billion in "additional financing" and require "additional adjustments". The report adds that "for each dollar that prices drop, the government loses US$ 770 million in net income" Should prices average US$ 80 per barrel, there will be a US$ 7 billion external deficit. BOFA insists the government is not considering a default, but warns that with falling oil prices and an election year ahead "authorities could consider selling some foreign assets or borrow abroad at a high cost". The institution also believes the cut in imports will also hit the public sector, although the government will concentrate on buying mass consumption items. Alternatives include reducing oil dispatches to PETROCARIBE - which are US$ 8 billion a year - or further devaluation. More in Spanish (El Universal,


Moody’s sees Venezuela's economy contracting 2.1% in 2014

Moody's is projecting that Venezuela's economy will contract by 2.1% in 2014 and downgraded Venezuelan debt to Caa1. It also says that in 2015 increased public spending prior to important legislative elections "will push the economy into a small 1.2% expansion". More in Spanish: (Infolatam)


Maduro says Venezuela's 2015 budget will again estimate oil price at US$ 60 dollars

President Nicolas Maduro says Venezuela's 2015 budget will be based on a target oil price of $60 dollars per barrel, but he repeated expectations that prices will recover. Venezuela routinely underestimates oil prices when planning its budget in order to allow subsequent increased spending with fewer budget restrictions. "There will be no catastrophe or collapse here," he said, adding that he expects prices to bounce back. The 2015 budget goes to the National Assembly this week. (Reuters,; and more in Spanish: AVN;á-presupuesto-2015; El Mundo,; El Universal,; El Nacional;


Fair Price Superintendent seeks price agreements with private sector

National Fair Price Superintendent Andres Eloy Mendez says he has been meeting with businessmen, owners of supermarkets, and pharmaceutical associations to ensure fair prices so that "we can have a healthy economy". He says "we don't want to ruin anyone, any businessman, we respect the established, non excessive, profit margin, but it is also our duty to protect peoples incomes". More in Spanish: (El Mundo,



Maduro approval rating drops to 30%

President Nicolas Maduro's approval rating dropped to 30.2 percent in September from 35.4 percent in July, according to a survey by pollster Datanalisis, amid an ongoing economic crisis that has weighed on his popularity.

The OPEC nation faces the highest annual inflation in the Western Hemisphere at 63.4 percent, chronic shortages of consumer goods and an economy that business leaders say has entered recession.

The poll conducted between Sept. 25 and Oct. 7 showed that 80.1 percent of those interviewed have an unfavorable perception of the country's state-led economic model, created by late socialist leader Hugo Chavez. (Reuters,


UN Human Rights Chief calls on Venezuela to free Lopez and protestors

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, expressed serious concern over the continued detention of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López, along with 69 others arrested in the context of public protests that took place across the nation over several months starting in February this year.
"The prolonged and arbitrary detention of political opponents and protestors in Venezuela is causing more and more concern internationally," High Commissioner Zeid said. "It is only exacerbating the tensions in the country." (Latin American Herald Tribune,; El Universal,


...and Assembly President Cabello rules out pardon for political prisoners

Diosdado Cabello, President of Venezuela's National Assembly, claims he saved opposition leader Leopoldo López's life, adding that there were no negotiations prior to Lopez turning himself in to the Bolivarian National Guard earlier this year. "He (López) knew it (information about his possible assassination), too. Why did he turn himself in? He and his family were aware of that," says the legislator, without providing any details. He also said freeing Lopez is a matter for the judiciary, not the executive or the legislative branch of government. (El Universal,


IAPA charges Venezuela is destroying press freedom, social media targeted by regime

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has complained of the "worsened damage to democracy" in Venezuela, and its "destructive effect on freedom of the press". A report by the Freedom of the Press Committee says "journalists have been detained, threatened, some tortured and others persecuted workers have had their equipment confiscated and their work limited or obstructed" ..y "by military or police officers", as well as "so-called collectives". It adds that that the survival of print media is "severely threatened due to scarce newsprint and other components". The report indicates over 30 print media have been hurt by lack of newsprint, and at least 12 have gone out of circulation either temporary or permanently. The group also supported the position of Miguel Henrique Otero, publisher of "El National" daily who reported administrative and economic pressure upon editors, who are forced to face accusations they cannot defend against.  Otero also reported hacking of personal and professional mails of journalists...blocked web pages, closed Twitter accounts. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;; and Infolatam)


Colombian FA Minister cancelled

A scheduled meeting between Colombian Foreign Affairs Minister María Ángela Holguín and her counterpart Rafael Ramírez in Caracas today was cancelled when the latter traveled to Havana with Nicolás Maduro for the ALBA summit on Ebola. This happened after five Venezuelan troops were captured in Colombian territory this weekend. They claimed they entered Colombian territory “by mistake.” (Veneconomy,; More in Spanish: El Nacional;


ALBA agrees to reinforce security and "take action" against Ebola

The presidents and health ministers of 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries meeting in Havana have agreed to reinforce security at the borders and to draft an "action plan" to fight the Ebola virus in the region. The presidents signed a 23 item declaration, which includes charging health ministers with "preparing an action plan" by no later than November 5, as well as its "immediate implementation," in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). (El Universal,;; Reuters,



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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