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, August 18, 2015

August 18, 2015

International Trade


Cargo that has arrived in Puerto Cabello:

  • 30,000 tons of wheat from the USA
  • 30,000 tons of sugar from Brazil for state agency CASA
  • 16.578 tons of chicken, beef, milk and margarine, from Brazil for state agency CASA


Venezuela-Colombia trade is down 38% in the first semester 2015, at US$ 769 million as opposed to US$ 1.235 billion during the same period last year - a 38% drop. More in Spanish: (El Mundo,



Oil & Energy


Venezuela oil price falls to just US$ 2.50 off 2015 low

Venezuela's weekly oil basket price fell to within US$2.58 of its 2015 lows as oil prices slipped in international markets on economic worries about China, a nuclear deal that would allow Iran to sell more oil, in addition to a U.S. market remaining amply supplied. According to figures released by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, the average price of Venezuelan crude sold by Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) during the week ending August 14 was US$ 41.40, down US$ 1.65 from the previous week's US$ 43.15. (Latin American Herald Tribune,; Veneconomy,


Venezuela imports 3 million barrels of petrol per month

An internal report from state oil company PDVSA shows Venezuela is importing 2.5-3 million barrels of heavy petrol each month from Caribbean facilities and dealer firms, to be used to dilute extra-heavy crude oil. More in Spanish: (El País,; El Mundo,





Allocating food product sales according to the last digit of customer’s ID card began again in all the establishments of the government distribution network: MERCAL; Abastos Bicentenario, and PDVAL. (Veneconomy,


Alimentos POLAR’s installations have received over 293 inspections by government agencies to date this year. There have been an average of 36 inspections per month. POLAR’s Legal Affairs Manager Mayela Rojas said “the frequency and degree of demand of these visits have intensified as of August 7 to the point of harassment.” (Veneconomy,



Economy & Finance


Underlying inflation was 213.2% over the last 12 months, according to studies by the ECOANALÍTICA think tank. June inflation was 16.1%, the second highest this year. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


Credit card use is up 132.7% due to higher inflation that is depreciating basic income. The Bank Superintendent's office reports a 416% increase since 2005. More in Spanish: (Notitarde;


Central Bank opens bid for banknote paper as paper money shortages are reported

The Central Bank (BCV) has announced it is opening a bid to all those companies interested in supplying banknote paper for printing new Bs.50 and Bs.100 bills. The country has recently been hit by a shortage of bills, mainly VEF 100 notes, and some banks restricted the number of bills handed to their clients cashing in checks or withdrawing from their accounts. The public envelope reception and opening will be held next October 9. (Veneconomy,; El Universal,


The Central Bank has limited the amount of cash available for ATM and credit card withdrawals to VEB 3,000, down from VEB 5,000. More in Spanish: (Diario 2001,; El Nacional;


Central Bank to finally publish official data

After an eight-month hiatus, the Central Bank here (BCV) will soon publish its monthly report, according to an off-the-record source close to the institution. (Veneconomy,



Politics and International Affairs


Support for Venezuela’s socialists slides to 19% ahead of vote

Less than a fifth of Venezuelan voters are planning to support candidates aligned with the ruling socialist party in congressional elections scheduled for later this year. The United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV, is backed by 19.2% of people ahead of the Dec. 6 election, according to a survey conducted by Caracas-based polling company DATANALISIS between July 10 and 23. Support for the party of President Nicolas Maduro has fallen by almost two percentage points since May as declining oil revenue exacerbates product shortages and inflation. Support for the candidates of the opposition alliance and independents rose to 54% in July from 50.1% in May, according to the poll. Maduro’s support fell by 1.5 percentage points to 24.3% in July, the lowest since January, the survey showed. The poll of 999 households had a margin of error of three percentage points. DATANALISIS estimates that 52% of the electorate will participate in the vote. The polling company’s president, Luis Vicente Leon, said last month that abstention favors the government because it has more money, resources and media access to motivate core supporters. (Bloomberg:; Latin American Herald Tribune,


Opposition presents united front in parliamentary elections

The opposition Democratic Unity Conference (MUD) coalition has presented a unified campaign command called "United Venezuela" under its Secretary General, Jesús Torrealba. Its "executive group" will include leaders of Acción Democrática (AD), Primero Justicia (PJ), Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT), and Voluntad Popular (VP).  The "strategy group" includes Miranda Governor and two time Presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, along with the governors of Amazonas and Lara states, a "personal representative" of imprisoned Metropolitan Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, former legislator María Corina Machado and National Assembly member Andrés Velázquez. More in Spanish: (Infolatam,


673 out of 1012 new polling centers are in pro-government installations

The opposition Democratic Unity Conference (MUD) and the Catholic University Political Studies Center have detected several irregularities in an audit of electoral plans, among them it has been revealed that 673 of the new 1012 polling centers created by the National Elections Council are not located at schools or government buildings, but in communes, unfinished housing projects and shanties controlled by the pro-government gangs. These new voting centers are 7.4% of total registered voters. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


Six states hold 52% of registered voters

The outcome of the parliamentary voting next December 6 will be conditioned by the imbalance between the number of voters enrolled in Venezuelan states and the number of parliamentarians to be elected in those states. Venezuelans will choose 113 candidates by name; another 51 will be elected by the vote issued by the ballots of political parties in 23 states and the Capital District, and three indigenous representatives will get to the National Assembly by means of lists in three special constituencies. (El Universal,


Foreign Minister tells Kerry relations with the US must be grounded on mutual respect

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez told US Secretary of State John Kerry, to stop "interventionist intentions" against Venezuela. Kerry had said that Venezuela's situation was "very problematic", and had noted that that if Venezuelan authorities do not allow credible international observers and do not release political prisoners before the December 6 parliament vote "it would have a serious impact" on US relations with Venezuela. Kerry added that the US would analyze the vote "very carefully." (El Universal,


Venezuela to present Essequibo claim at Mercosur Parliament

A delegation of Venezuelan deputies will attend the 33rd Regular Meeting and Special Meeting of the Parliament of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) (Parlasur), held in Montevideo, Uruguay from Sunday, August 16, through Tuesday, August 18. The parliamentarians will present an agreement concerning Venezuela's claim against Guyana over the Essequibo territory, informed the Venezuelan National Assembly in a press release.

The speaker of Parlasur, Venezuelan Deputy Saúl Ortega, commented that the Venezuelan delegation will explain how the government of Guyana, along with imperialist factors, seeks to take over that territory, disregarding Venezuela's sovereignty. He added that a unanimous resolution in support of Venezuela was expected. (El Universal,


Maduro traveled to Cuba for Fidel Castro's 89th birthday

President Nicolás Maduro and First Lady Cilia Flores have traveled to Havana to join 89th birthday celebrations for Cuba's revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.  Bolivia´s President Evo Morales is also taking part in the events. More in Spanish: (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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