Cargo that has arrived at Puerto Cabello:
- 30,000 tons of white corn from Mexico
- 30,000 tons of white corn from Argentina, both for state agency CASA.
- 1022 tons of whole powdered milk from Argentina for CASA
- 1022 tons of whole powdered milk from Argentina for CASA
- Over 477 tons of auto parts in 45 containers from Jacksonville from Ford and Kuehne Nagel for their local affiliates.
- 110 containers bearing milk, beef, oil and beans from Costa Rica, for CASA
- Over 995 tons of personal care products, such as shampoo and diapers from Unilever and Procter & Gamble for their local affiliates.
- Over 264 tons of milk from Nestlé México for their local affiliate.
- Over 247 tons in 33 containers of auto parts from Brazil and Colombia for Ford.
- Over 14,000 tons of sodium sulfate from Spain
Brazil beef exports down
Brazil's Beef Exporters Association says exports dropped 18% and 14% in volume to mostly to "the drop in exports to three important markets: Hong Kong, Russia and Venezuela. (El Nacional; http://www.el-nacional.com/)
Logistics & Transport
Dynamic Airways is now servicing Caracas-Fort Lauderdale
North Carolina based DYNAMIC International Airways will run its inaugural Caracas-Fort Lauderdale, to operate in Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Sales will be made in bolivars. (Ultimas Noticias, http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/economia/dynamic-airways-levanta-vuelo-desde-caracas.aspx#ixzz3g8o64WIU; El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/150717/parte-vuelo-inaugural-de-primera-linea-low-cost)
Venezuela orders Polar beer workers to lift strike
Venezuela's Labor Ministry has ordered workers to lift a strike at beer maker Polar that had halted two of its breweries and restricted supplies of beer here. Unions close to the government of President Nicolas Maduro in early July shut down the two plants as well as 16 distribution centers as part of demands for better salaries. "The conflict and strike are declared over," said the Labor Ministry's inspectorate in a published official decision. The resolution urges the two sides to enter a process of arbitration that is to begin within the next 48 hours. (Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/15/venezuela-beer-idUSL2N0ZV2RZ20150715)
Ten everyday items that now cost more than the monthly minimum wage in Venezuela
As Venezuela's bolivar loses its value at an unprecedented rate, the purchasing power of ordinary citizens is going down with it. While President Nicolas Maduro decreed a 30% increase to the minimum wage in May, the currency has plunged even more -- losing 88% over the past year in the black market where people and businesses go to avoid strict controls on dollar purchases. It now takes 630 bolivars to buy US$ 1 in illegal street markets. That means that Venezuela’s largest bank note of 100 bolivars now fetches less than 16 cents, and that the monthly minimum wage of 7,422 bolivars is worth a little over $11. (Bloomberg, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-15/10-everyday-items-that-now-cost-more-than-the-monthly-minimum-wage-in-venezuela)
54% of state run MERCAL stores have closed as did 1,705 food distributors, according to Venezuela’s Nutrition Ministry’s annual report for last year. Mercal has now only 6,725 active stores out of 14,657. Also, prices have experienced sharp increases in this past year. (Veneconomy, http://www.veneconomy.com/site/index.asp?ids=44&idt=44719&idc=3)
Kraft union announces paralyzed mayonnaise and cream cheese production for lack of supplies. The union says they have stopped activity for the past two months. More in Spanish: (Ultimas Noticias, http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/economia/sindicato-de-kraft-anuncia-paro-en-produccion-de-m.aspx#ixzz3g2zZ7wjC; El Mundo, http://www.elmundo.com.ve/noticias/economia/empresas/sindicato-de-kraft-anuncia-paro-en-produccion-de-m.aspx)
Economy & Finance
IMF now estimates Venezuela 2015 inflation will be above 100%
The International Monetary Fund is now estimating that Venezuela will have inflation above 100% this year and that recession will deepen by 7% under economic policies it holds "unsustainable". More in Spanish: (Ultimas Noticias, http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/economia/fmi-inflacion-venezolana-en-mas-de-100.aspx#ixzz3g30dxRCK; El Nacional; http://www.el-nacional.com/)
Bank of America estimates inflation in Venezuela in June was 7% and annualized inflation is 113.2%. Its forecast for inflation at the end of 2015 is 202.5%. (Veneconomy, http://www.veneconomy.com/site/index.asp?ids=44&idt=44721&idc=2
Venezuela’s inflation nightmare signals default may come sooner
Venezuela is about to earn another ignominious distinction. Long home to the world’s highest inflation rate, the country now is set to become the site of the 57th hyperinflation event in modern recorded history, says Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University. While the feat may be little more than a formality in a country where Hanke calculates annual cost-of-living increases already run at 772%, it’s the latest sign a debt default may be closer than traders previously thought. With Venezuela’s currency losing 32% of its value in the past month in the black market, according to dolartoday.com, and falling oil prices throttling the cash-starved nation’s biggest revenue source, the government may run out of money to pay its debts by year-end, according to Societe Generale SA. Derivatives traders have ratcheted up the probability of a default within one year to 63%, compared with 33% just two months ago. (Bloomberg, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-15/venezuela-s-772-inflation-means-default-may-come-a-lot-sooner)
Analysts believe there could be a default under the Maduro regime
A Bank of America Merrill Lynch poll of 54 economic analysts specialized on Venezuela on what administration here might be more likely to default shows 52% of respondents believe it is the Maduro regime. Another 11% believes in would be another chavista leader, and 16% believe this of a military regime. Only 2% believe an opposition government would take this course. More in Spanish: Spanish: (El Nacional; http://www.el-nacional.com/)
Capriles proposes an emergency economic plan
On behalf of the united opposition, Miranda Governor and former Presidential candidate Henrique Capriles has proposed an emergency economic plan "to see things through until December", based on enhancing income by restructuring expenses, including the refinancing of US$ 6.4 billion in debt due in October, in order to pay internal debt with key sectors, such as food, health, education and transportation, and revive the economy. The proposal includes a 50% salary increase, returning expropriated companies and review all international giveawasys. More in Spanish: (El Universal; http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150715/oposicion-presento-plan-de-emergencia-con-canje-de-deuda; El Nacional; http://www.el-nacional.com/; Infolatam, http://www.infolatam.com/2015/07/15/capriles-propone-ajustar-salarios-negociar-deuda-y-devolver-empresas/)
Venezuela’s black-market bolivar tumbles to 1% of official rate
Venezuela’s currency has fallen so much so quickly that a dollar now buys 100 times as many bolivars in the black market as it does at the government-controlled rate. The bolivar fell to a record 630.21 per dollar Tuesday in the illegal street markets where Venezuelans go to skirt limits on foreign-exchange purchases, compared with the official rate of 6.3 per dollar, data compiled by dolartoday.com show. The local currency has plunged 88% in the unofficial market over the past year and 34 percent in just the past month. Inflation is the fastest in the world as President Nicolas Maduro’s administration prints more currency to pay budget expenses. Because of tumbling oil prices, the government gets fewer dollars from its exports and there’s a shortage of greenbacks, pushing Venezuelans to the black market when they can’t obtain government approval to access the legal rates. Venezuela has maintained strict currency controls since 2003. (Bloomberg, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-14/venezuela-s-black-market-bolivar-tumbles-to-1-of-official-rate)
FEDECÁMARAS questioned the Venezuelan Central Bank’s (BCV) performance, as well as that of web pages that publish dollar rates without any clear economic bases and whose consequences are “unhealthy to the economy.” Its Chief Jorge Roig accused the absence of official figures from the BCV, as well as its non-transparent allotment of foreign currency of the emergence of pages such as DolarToday. (Veneconomy, http://www.veneconomy.com/site/index.asp?ids=44&idt=44720&idc=2; El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/150716/fedecamaras-condemns-speculative-practices-with-foreign-exchange)
Politics and International Affairs
Venezuela bans Machado and Scarano from running for parliament
Venezuela has banned a second opposition member, former mayor Vicencio Scarano, from holding public office for a year, meaning he will not be able to run in December's parliamentary election. The measure against Scarano, jailed last year for failing to clear street barricades in his San Diego town during protests against President Nicolas Maduro, followed a similar move this week against another opposition leader, Maria Corina Machado. But Machado has vowed she would run for parliament despite a one-year ban on her holding public office, which she said was a ploy by the government to avoid defeat in December's vote. The comptroller's office has barred Machado, a candidate in the central Miranda state who is a high-profile adversary of the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, on grounds she failed to disclose certain social benefits in her wealth declaration. The socialist government says hard line activists are paying the price for criminal activities, including stoking violence and coup plots. Scoffing at the accusations, Machado accused Maduro and a "complicit" comptroller of sidelining her ahead of the Dec. 6 vote, which polls show the ruling socialists are poised to lose with an economic crisis weighing heavily on the electorate. (Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/17/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKCN0PR00V20150717; http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/15/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKCN0PP2JI20150715; Veneconomy, http://www.veneconomy.com/site/index.asp?ids=44&idt=44716&idc=1; El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150716/cabello-a-disqualified-person-cannot-run-for-congress)
OAS, Brazilian Senators support María Corina Machado
Both the Organization of American States and the Brazilian Senate came out against the attempt by the Maduro regime to politically disqualify María Corina Machado as candidate for Venezuela's legislature. OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro said the people are the only ones who can disqualify politicians: "There is no political disqualification. A political disqualification or ban cannot be carried out administratively. It must have a different content. The only disqualifications are made by the people. All else is to exacerbate the political situation." Members of the Brazilian Senate also spoke out against the move and called upon the Brazilian government to participate in a dialogue committee that works through UNASUR to make the Venezuelan regime restore effective democracy in Venezuela. More in Spanish: (El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150716/senado-de-brasil-y-oea-respaldan-a-maria-corina-machado)
Prisoner release not on the table in U.S. talks: Venezuela
Talks to improve diplomatic relations between the United States and Venezuela's socialist government do not include discussion of releasing opposition demonstrators jailed as a result of protests in 2014, says Venezuela's foreign minister. After more than a decade of acrimonious relations, Caracas and Washington have opened a cautious rapprochement by trying to cooperate in areas of mutual interest such as peace negotiations in Colombia and elections in Haiti. But Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said there is no discussion of releasing opposition activists who were arrested for violent and illegal behavior, insisting it would set a dangerous precedent of justifying for "terrorism." (Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/15/us-venezuela-usa-idUSKCN0PP26E20150715; El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150716/fm-rodriguez-asks-us-for-respect-for-venezuelan-institutions)
Guyana to seek support in its territorial dispute with Venezuela at the MERCOSUR Summit that begins in Brasilia on Thursday. Guyana’s President David Granger, who is traveling to Brazil, accompanied by his FA Minister and other high officials, plans to present their arguments to win over that support. In the meantime, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is insisting Guyana abide by the 1966 Geneva Accord which calls for the good offices of the United Nations. (Veneconomy, http://www.veneconomy.com/site/index.asp?ids=44&idt=44722&idc=1; El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150716/guyana-to-seek-mercosurs-support-in-border-dispute; http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150717/venezuela-insiste-en-que-guyana-respete-acuerdo-de-ginebra)
US Federal Court has subpoenaed Cabello in weapons case
A US Federal Court in Miami has issues a subpoena to National Assembly President Captain Diosdado Cabello to appear on August 10th to testify on a weapons deal allegedly brokered by a Venezuelan businessman in Miami. Aragua State Governor Tareck El Aissami, National Guard Commander General Néstor Luis Reverol, and former Interior Minister General Miguel Rodríguez Torres have also been called to testify in a defamation brought by Gianfranco Rondón against the editor of Doral News and Doral News TV, over reports on alleged arms sales. More in Spanish: (Infolatam, http://www.infolatam.com/2015/07/14/corte-de-eeuu-cita-a-cabello-por-supuesta-compra-de-material-de-defensa/)
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.