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, June 30, 2015

June 30, 2015

International Trade


Cargo that has arrived at Puerto Cabello:

  • 845 tons of auto parts, 41 of tires and 8 of spare parts from FORD USA for its local affiliate.
  • 203 tons of auto parts and 201 of prefab construction from Postar Intertrade, for SAFONAPP.
  • 27 tons of electronic products from Port Everglades for Suministros y Procura Aragua.
  • 10 tons of ceramic and bathroom pieces from Port Everglades for ACCA
  • 4 tons of truck parts from Port Everglades, for MACK
  • 3 tons of furniture from DHL Curazao to DHL Global Forwarding Venezuela.
More in Spanish: (Notitarde,


Powdered milk reported to have arrived

Sources in the milk industry say some 16,000 tons of powdered milk have arrived from Brazil, but add that the problem here is not milk production but price controls and lack of packing material. More in Spanish:  (Ultimas Noticias,


293 Chinese buses arrived

Surface Transport and Public Works Minister Haiman El Troudi has announced that a lot of Chinese buses made up of 293 units for public transportation has arrived. (Veneconomy,



Oil & Energy


Venezuela oil price slips for 3rd week

Venezuela's weekly oil basket price slipped slightly for a third week as oil prices churned in international markets on economic worries in Europe over a possible Greek default, and the U.S. market remained amply supplied.
According to figures released by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, the average price of Venezuelan crude sold by Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) during the week ending June 26 was US$ 56.15, down 33 cents from the previous week's US$ 56.48. (Latin American Herald Tribune,


Haiti owes PDVSA almost US$ 2 billion

Haiti's long term debt with Venezuela for oil and derivates under the PETROCARIBE plan is up to almost US$ 2 billion, based on official figures. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


Oil minister says Caribbean region could collapse without PETROCARIBE

Venezuela's Oil and Mining Minister Asdrúbal Chávez celebrated the 10th anniversary of PETROCARIBE by inaugurating their XVth Ministerial Council, and declared "without PETROCARIBE this region would collapse". More in Spanish: (Ultimas Noticias,; El Mundo,


FORBES: Oil market impact of unrest here

Venezuela’s problems remain over the horizon for many oil traders, until the level of unrest increases to the point where oil production and exports appear to be threatened; and the global oil market should be relatively capable of absorbing any loss of Venezuelan production. A strike or other unrest that prevents Venezuela from exporting petroleum will mean a quick bump up in prices, but in the case of an extended production outage, the biggest uncertainty is whether Saudi Arabia will respond with a production increase, or wait to see how the situation develops. Given high oil inventories, Saudi Arabia would almost certainly wait and allow inventories to offset the loss. Since Venezuela is not that large an exporter, restraint should be a low risk approach. If traders respond by pushing prices up significantly, the Saudis would first try to talk down prices. So, while prices could jump $10 a barrel in response to Venezuelan unrest, even a major disruption of Venezuelan oil supply is unlikely to mean elevated prices would persist. (FORBES;


Good news from Venezuela's oil industry

Eulogio del Pino, who replaced Rafael Ramírez as head of PDVSA, seems to be making a great effort to manage the operations of the state-run oil company. He traveled to an OPEC meeting in Vienna, to Russia and India, seeking to strengthen the battered relations of PDVSA with the different international companies and countries, as he announced several agreements that seem to be pointing in the right direction: The first is an agreement with PBF Energy Inc. to sell the 189,000 barrel-per-day Chalmette refinery (Louisiana) for US$ 322 million. This refinery is a 50:50 joint venture between ExxonMobil and PDVSA, and is particularly fit for processing upgraded crude from PETROMONAGAS. The deal indicates that it will be able to maintain the customer, since it was especially reformed so it could process the upgraded crude of PETROMONAGAS in an efficient way. (Latin American Herald Tribune,





Basic industry is under 25% capacity

For the second time this year President Nicolás Maduro has announced reactivation of a worker controlled plan launched in 2009 by the late President Chavez for the Guayana region basic industries which are operating under 25% capacity. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;



Economy & Finance


Venezuelan businessmen ask the regime to open dialogue without attacks, insults and accusations against the private sector. Last weekend, Nicolás Maduro invited them to a dialogue “without exclusions,” but he did so referring to some businessmen as “pelucones" (a Colombian/Ecuadorian insult to refer to someone with money). Venezuela’s private sector’s petitions remain the same: Dismounting price and FOREX controls and strengthening domestic production. (Veneconomy,



Politics and International Affairs


Venezuela's struggling socialists hold primaries for parliamentary vote

Venezuela's ruling socialists held primaries on Sunday ahead of December's parliamentary election they are forecast to lose due to a biting recession and discontent with the late Hugo Chavez's uncharismatic successor. President Nicolas Maduro claimed the number of voters on Sunday had doubled as compared to previous PSUV primaries, without giving out the exact numbers of people who had turned up for the polls. "The revolution doesn't work like it used to. You don't feel that emotion anymore," said a teacher at a state-run school in a low-income part of Caracas, who is disappointed with President Nicolas Maduro, the former bus driver and union leader she helped elect in 2013. Captain Diosdado Cabello, Speaker of the National Assembly and first vice president of ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), says it is "a mistake" by the leaders of the opposition to "continue to underestimate people." He says PSUV primaries are important for the country's democratic life. "We are doing our part to win the vote in peace." Although President Maduro publicly said the regime had ways of knowing who voted and who did not, National Elections Council member Socorro Hernández declared "there is no way one can do so". (Reuters,; Latin American Herald Tribune,; El Universal,; El Universal,


Commonwealth expresses support for Guyana in border dispute

Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma has expressed assurances that the 53 nation group supports Guyana in its border dispute with Venezuela: "There have been recent developments in the claims by a neighboring country over Guyana's land and maritime areas, and the Commonwealth has quickly and appropriately acted in collective solidarity". More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


Maduro once again postpones is National Assembly speech on Guyana

President Nicolás Maduro has for a third time postponed a speech - scheduled for today - to the Venezuela´s National Assembly on the border dispute with Guyana. More in Spanish: (Ultimas Noticias,


INFOLATAM: Maduro's ultra-nationalist decoy

The difficult situation the Maduro is going through may lead him to seek political shortcuts. Today, tensions with Guyana and Colombia have risen, and some analysts see this as a way to change the course of upcoming parliamentary elections on December 6th. Carlos Alberto Montaner says "chavistas know that the Essequibo issue is very popular in the entire population, chavistas and non-chavistas, particularly now that Exxon-Mobil has found an important amount of oil in the area's maritime zone...they think a military operation to "rescue" the Essequibo could last one week and awaken nationalist fervor in Venezuelans, revitalize Maduro's image, return prestige to the discredited armed forces and create a "war period" atmosphere that could justify scarcities and economic disaster".  On May 27, Maduro published a decree creating four Integrated Maritime and Insular Defense Zones, one of which includes disputed areas. Guyana has called the decree "aggressive and illegal" and "a flagrant violation of international law" and warns that "any attempt" to enforce it will be "met vigorously ". Venezuela has called Guyana's reply "a provocation against Bolivarian peace diplomacy". Colombia´s President Juan Manuel Santos, in turn, has demanded a quick formal reply "within hours" from Venezuela for unilaterally setting maritime boundaries between the two nations in disputed Caribbean areas. The new decree also includes areas in the Gulf of Venezuela which have been disputed for decades. Colombia's SEMANA magazine says Colombian politicians of all parties believe Maduro's decision is "a smoke screen" to overcome difficult domestic problems. Although it seems unlikely all this will degenerate into conflict what is happening is that the regime is using it with to mobilize votes and launch charges against the opposition. More in Spanish: (INFOLATAM,


Regime tells UN it does not violate human rights, Committee members disagree

Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega Díaz denied to the UN Human Rights Committee that Venezuela is violating or tolerating violations of human rights. Members of the Committee dissented: Konstantine Vardzelasvili said: "The state cannot protect pro-government groups that attack demonstrators. Legal regulations are seldom enforced, particularly when those involved come from "colectivos"".  Olivier De Frouville added: "People were liberated after the 2014 trials under conditions that restrict their rights, very strict provisional conditions in exchange for freedom". In reference to the case of judge Afiuni, Yadh Ben Achour said "even if a judge proclaims hostility toward the state she must be treated with respect. When I see judges jailed and tortured I am speechless". Thirty Venezuelan NGOs have told the UN that the Venezuelan regime violates its citizens’ human and political rights. Ortega Díaz will also have to explain why the annual homicide rate in Venezuela soared from 4,500 in 1998 to over 24,000 in 2014. (Veneconomy,; El Universal,;; and more in Spanish: El Universal,; El Nacional;


National Assembly President Cabello: "I have no problem going to the US"

National Assembly President Captain Diosdado Cabello said meetings between the Venezuelan government and the US will continue in order to come to an understanding. He said that neither Senators in the US, nor media outlets' owners in Venezuela could stop meetings with Washington. As for the possibility of travelling to Washington to continue with rapprochement meetings, Cabello stressed that he had no problem to go to the United States, in reference to reports aired by international media about an alleged investigation against him over drug-trafficking crimes. (El Universal,


US senator to travel to Venezuela to assess the country's situation

US Senator Robert Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will travel to Venezuela in July to assess the country's economic and social decline and the serious accusations brought against high-ranking officials.
Additional reports said that several US parliamentarians would join Corker when he visits Venezuela.
(El Universal,


North Korea to open embassy in Venezuela

Diplomatic relations between Venezuela and North Korea are moving forward, as Caracas authorized Pyongyang to set an embassy in Venezuela. (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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