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.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

July 30, 2015

International Trade


Less FOREX available for imports as oil income drops by US$ 3 billion in 2015

According to a report by the SÍNTESIS FINANCIERA think tank, a severe drop in oil income will further shrink FOREX allocations for imports. The study says that if oil prices continue at the current rate, this year's average would be around US$ 49.1 per barrel, which means an estimated US$ 3 billion oil income reduction in 2015. "This is an element that points to the persistent FOREX drought we have seen throughout July, unless until there is an inflow of US$ 1.5 billion from the sale of Jamaica's outstanding oil debt" a 50% discount. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;



Logistics & Transport


Shortage of spare parts hampers timely repair of vehicles in Venezuela

Repairing any type of vehicle in Caracas can take from six months to one year due to shortages of spare parts and other supplies. José Manuel González, President of the Venezuelan Chamber of Mechanical Workshops, says that one of the difficulties to properly maintain vehicles is the high cost of spare parts, as a result of the increase in customs tariffs.
He explained that so far this year, 47 car shops have gone out of business nationwide.
(El Universal,



Oil & Energy


Venezuela seeks light crude contracts to make blends

Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) has asked oil suppliers to submit offers for up to 70,000 barrels per day of ultralight sweet crudes through contracts of one to five years. If successful, the move would mark the most definitive step state-owned PDVSA has taken to obtain longer-term supplies of ultralight crude, which it needs to use as a diluent for its growing output of extra heavy oil. PDVSA bought some 4 million barrels of Algeria's Saharan Blend light crude from October 2014 through January of this year under an agreement with state-run Sonatrach. That deal ended after disagreements over prices and delivery terms, forcing PDVSA to resume production of less attractive blends made with imported naphtha. (Reuters,; El Universal,


40% of domestic liquid gas transportation is paralyzed due to lack of spare parts

40% of all vehicles that provide primary transportation for liquid gas to plants that fill and distribute containers for domestic use by 1.8 million Venezuelan families are paralyzed due to lack of spare parts.  Operators say "the situation tends to become worse as we cannot cover operating costs as rates have not been adjusted for the over 26 months for services they provide PDVSA Gas". More in Spanish: (El Nacional;



Economy & Finance


ECLAC: Venezuela's economy will contract by 5.5% in 2015, worst in the region

The UN's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimated Venezuela's GDP will contract 5.5% by the end of this year, and will suffer the most severe contraction in the entire region. Panama is leading regional expansion with 6% growth, according to the 2015 study presented by ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena. More in Spanish: (2001,


International reserves shrink even further, liquid reserves around US$ 900 million, asset sales recommended

Venezuela's international reserves were US$ 15.388 billion by 23 July, and pending debt repayments in 2015 and 2016 are US$ 15.461 billion. Morgan Stanley estimates that Venezuela's cash liquid reserves are now around US$ 900, a historic low, and is now burning reserves at a rate of some US$ 1.6 billion per month. The firm reports US$ 12.900 billion of reserves are held in gold bullion, and Venezuela's drawing rights with the IMF are now down to US$ 1.7 billion. The nation will also receive US$ 1.5 billion from Jamaica in advance payment - at a 50% discount - of that country's oil debt with Venezuela through PETROCARIBE. According to Bank of America, Venezuela faces a US$ 20 billion fiscal deficit, and the Morgan Stanley report doubts China will furnish new loans. Morgan Stanley believes President Maduro must now urgently start selling off assets, including the Chalmette refinery in the US. More in Spanish: (El Universal,; El Mundo,; Summarium,



Politics and International Affairs


Maduro signals he won’t allow election monitoring, Capriles terms statements "unacceptable, suspicious"

President Nicolas Maduro has indicated he won’t allow international observers to monitor December’s congressional elections, as opinion polls show the ruling party losing its majority. “Venezuela is not and will not be monitored by anyone,” Maduro said at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday in response to a reporter’s question about whether the UN could “monitor” the Dec. 6 vote. “Our country won’t accept it ever.” Maduro’s ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, known as PSUV, is forecast to lose its congressional majority for the first time in 16 years. Opposition candidates are backed by 56.2% of voters, compared with 29.8% for the PSUV, according to the latest available DATANALISIS poll taken between May 18 and 30. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who recently met with OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro to request monitoring, quickly called Maduro's statement "unacceptable" and "very suspicious", adding that "it is a contradiction to claim you are a majority and not accept observers". He said that according to law, the decision to accept observers in parliamentary elections is up to the Elections Council, "it is not up to him to decide who can come and who cannot". Capriles added that a document is being drawn up for the government to sign it will accept election results.  (Bloomberg,; El Universal,; and more in Spanish: El Universal:


19, 504,106 Venezuelans are registered to vote on December 6th

Preliminary voter registration for parliamentary elections next December 6th shows 19,504,106 citizens will be able to vote, and reflects 887,278 new voters as well as 223,970 people dropped from the rolls due to death or disqualification. The registry will be audited starting August 5th. (El Universal,; and more in Spanish: El Universal,


Maduro requests U.N. mediation in Guyana border dispute

President Nicolas Maduro said he asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for U.N. mediation in his country's century-old border dispute with neighboring Guyana. The controversy was discussed by Maduro and Ban at a meeting Tuesday morning in New York. "We will continue to work through diplomatic means," Maduro told reporters after the meeting. "We will overcome the provocations and aggressions of (Guyanese president David) Granger." (Reuters,; Latin American Herald Tribune,;


Guyana publishes maritime coordinates in official gazette

Guyanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge has announced that Guyana has published the coordinates of its maritime space coordinates in the Official Gazette. The move comes about two months after Venezuela unilaterally extended its maritime border, leading to a new border dispute between the two countries. Minister Greenidge said that the coordinates of Guyana's maritime borders were published to reassert Guyana's stance regarding the ownership of the territorial sea, the Exclusive Economic Zone (ZEE) and the continental shelf. (El Universal,


Attorney General: UN report is based on "false assumptions"

Venezuela´s Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega Díaz says she regrets the fact that the United Nations Human Rights Committee echoed "false assumptions" when it comes to crime in Venezuela. She said the Committee based its investigation on "false assumptions, because not all violent deaths can be regarded as crimes, as if they were all murders. A car accident is a violent death, but it is not a crime (...) a suicide (...) is a violent death, but it does not constitute a crime," she commented. (El Universal,


Spanish FM: "Venezuela has a long way to go in human rights"

Spain´s Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo, says Venezuela "has a long way to go in the matter of human rights, as many pronouncements issued by the United Nations have made public." The foreign minister's remarks came in reply to criticism from Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro of a controversial law on security and public order passed by the conservative government of President Mariano Rajoy, whom Maduro labeled an "assassin of the people". Minister García-Margallo had summoned the Venezuelan ambassador to Madrid for the second time in three months. The first time was in April, following President Maduro's statements calling Rajoy "a racist." (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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