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 4, 2014

november 04, 2014

International Trade


Cargo that has arrived at Puerto Cabello:

  • 9,500 head of cattle weighing 4,600 tons arrived from Brazil for Frigorífico Industrial Turmero, Carnes El Pazo, Matadero Centro Occidental and others.
  • Over 1,074 tons of whole milk from Argentina for state agency CASA.
  • Over 521 tons of pasta and flour, plus 339 tons of soya oil, also for CASA.
More in Spanish: (Notitarde;



Logistics & Transport


Authorities temporarily suspend fare sales on over 50% of domestic flights

The Venezuelan National Civil Aeronautic Institute (INAC) has temporally suspended air ticket sale operations by several private and state-run domestic airlines. The airlines hit by the measure are CONVIASA, AEROPOSTAL, AEROTUY, and ASERCA Airlines, which cover over 50% of domestic flights. It was unofficially reported that the freeze would be for 5 days and meetings were being held by INAC and airline representatives were being held to try to reach an agreement.  (El Universal,; and more in Spanish: El Nacional;


Travel agencies report irregularities in sale of air tickets

The Venezuelan Travel and Tourism Agencies Association (AVAVIT) has reported "irregularities in the purchase and sale of international air tickets" in the local market, which hit passengers directly, and recommends that travelers "buy their air tickets and travel services through retailers authorized by the Minister of Tourism)" in order to avoid irregularities. (El Universal,



Oil & Energy


Venezuela oil price slips to new 4 year low

Venezuela's Ministry of Energy and Petroleum reports that the average price of Venezuelan crude sold by Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) during the week ending October 31 fell to its lowest price since 2010. The average price during the week ending October 31 was US$75.79, down US$0.11 from the previous week's US$75.90. (Latin American Herald Tribune,


Lower oil prices carry geopolitical consequences

Since mid-June, the price of Brent crude oil has fallen by nearly 25% -- going from a high of US$115 to about US$87 a barrel -- and structural factors are causing concern among global oil producers that oil prices will remain near current levels through at least the end of 2015. This concern has caused several investment banks to slash their oil price outlooks for the immediate future. STRATFOR believes that oil supplies will stay high as energy production in North America increases and OPEC countries remain hesitant or unable to cut production significantly. Moreover, in the short term, the Chinese economic slowdown and stagnant European economy will limit the potential for growth in oil demand. These factors could make it harder for global oil prices to rebound to their previous levels. There is every reason to believe that oil prices will stay lower than US$100 per barrel for much of 2015, unless Saudi Arabia and OPEC change their minds about production cuts. All eyes watching oil markets will turn to OPEC's semiannual meeting Nov. 27 to look for any shifts. If there are none, the lower price of oil will continue to have significant geopolitical consequences for consumer and producer countries alike. (Stratfor,


Saudi oil minister to make rare trips to Venezuela, Mexico

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi is making his first visits in years to fellow exporters Venezuela and Mexico, although tumbling oil prices are not the stated purpose of the trip, according to officials and sources. Naimi will attend a long-planned climate change meeting on Venezuela's Margarita Island that runs Tuesday to Friday, according to a Caracas-based source close to the Saudi delegation. (Reuters,; El Universal,


Gasoline quota in Táchira state has been lowered to 10 liters for the remaining of this week due to delays in fuel dispatches. The measure was authorized by PDVSA, and the quota allocated to all drivers will depend on their vehicle’s capacity may be reestablished on Monday. (Veneconomy,





Venezuela steps up battle to keep shelves stocked and prices low ahead of Christmas

Venezuela is stepping up efforts to combat shortages and rising prices so families can have a merry Christmas complete with 12-cent sacks of sugar and 50-cent chickens. President Nicolas Maduro has announced he is deploying hundreds of inspectors to enforce the government's price regulations, which set the cost of everything from milk to toothbrushes artificially low. "Today we deploy, and in November and December you will see that we have guaranteed a happy Christmas for the people," he said during televised remarks. (Fox News,



Economy & Finance


International reserves are now down to US$ 19.758 billion

Venezuela's international reserves dropped to US$ 19.758 billion by October 30th, which is under the low point registered in November 2003, the year when the oil industry paralyzed its activities. More in Spanish: (El Mundo,


Analysts say the government shows no urgency over economic imbalances

A recent report by BARCLAY's says that although the drop in oil prices intensifies the need for economic adjustment, authorities are displaying no urgency over the matter and seem caught between adjustment and inaction. This means it is not likely the economic situation will improve before parliamentary elections next year, which could further erode support for the regime. More in Spanish: (El Universal,


Maduro announced 15% general pay raise effective December 1

President Nicolás Maduro has announced a 15% raise in the minimum wage, close to VEB 4,890, effective December 1st this year. This will add on to a 10% raise enacted in January and a 30% raise applied in May this year. Maduro says the cumulative raise in full salary comes to 68.28% in all of 2014. He also appointed a negotiating committee to establish a framework contract for collective bargaining within the public sector. He also announced the establishment of an "Economic Intelligence Commission", made up by the tax authority (SENIAT), the fair prices superintendent's office (SUNDDE), the national foreign trade authority (CENCOEX) and the National Intelligence Service (SEBIN), in order to "combat criminal mafias". More in Spanish: (El Universal,


Venezuela's "reserve fund will have US$ 4 billion by December 2014", according to General Rodolfo Marco Torres, Vice-President for Economic Affairs and Finance Minister, who claims "The Bolivarian revolution has a financial infrastructure that enables us to confront and take action as appropriate in the face of falling oil prices. Hence, we prepared a budget for next year with the oil barrel at US$ 60. We are positive that next year will yield substantial results, as we will support the honest productive sector." (El Universal,



Politics and International Affairs


Venezuela is spending millions on electronic spying on its own citizens

Government intelligence services - assisted by their Cuban counterparts - have substantially increased their technical ability to spy on the general population, and are currently using cutting edge technology to read mails and hear telephone conversations of anyone that opposes the regime. The Venezuelan government has spent millions of dollars acquiring Russian, Italian and Cuban spying technology, specially telephone calls, Internet use and emails that go through the state telecommunications company CANTV, which can be monitored at will and do not require user passwords. These technologies and Cuban training played a key role in containing protests during the first semester this year, by easily monitoring student activities. Intelligence sources say the government can only monitor communications of pre-selected targets, "it is not able to monitor all communications of all Venezuelans", they say. Intelligence services have been compiling an extensive data base for years, in order to identify targets. One of the Cuban programs, called "Estela", closely monitors interactions between the users of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. More in Spanish: (El Nuevo Herald,


UN Commission to learn about torture cases in Venezuela

Reports to be examined by the United Nations (UN) Commission against Torture include cases from 2002 to 2011, but an update on serious attacks against personal integrity during the first half of 2014, during the wave of anti-government protests, will also be included. The Commission will meet this week with Penitentiary Services Minister Iris Varela, as well as representatives of non government organizations. (El Universal,; and more in Spanish:


Venezuela reaffirms solidarity with Palestine

The Venezuelan Government has reaffirmed its solidarity with the Palestinian cause by sending a third shipment of 10.3 tons of supplies for humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people, sent to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. (AVN,


Jaua issues communiqué about gun incident in Brazil

Elías Jaua, Minister for Communes and Social Movements, has issued a communiqué to clarify an incident involving one of his domestic employees who was detained on October 24 for carrying a gun in her luggage upon her landing in the Sao Paulo international airport, Brazil. Jaua claims his presence in Brazil was for a four-day work visit, and that as a "part of my work team, my wife joined me. She is part of my support staff at the Ministry, and as such, she took part in the work visit". He says his wife had to be hospitalized and the domestic was brought in to help. (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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