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, September 24, 2015

September 24, 2015


International Trade

 

Cargo that has arrived at Puerto Cabello:

  • 3,000 head of cattle and 500 containers with basic products from Brazil - including 197 vans carrying beef, 60 with whole powdered milk, 44 with margarine, and 213 bearing chicken, all for state agency CASA.
  • 2,100 taxi cars from China for the Land Transport Ministry and state agency SUVINCA
  • 29, 000 tons of rice  for state agency CASA
(Bolipuertos, http://www.bolipuertos.gob.ve/noticia.aspx?id=33821; http://www.bolipuertos.gob.ve/noticia.aspx?id=33820; http://www.bolipuertos.gob.ve/noticia.aspx?id=33818)

 

30,000 tons of soy beans from Argentina for manufacturing cooking oil have arrived at Maracaibo's port, for state agency CASA.  (Bolipuertos, http://www.bolipuertos.gob.ve/noticia.aspx?id=33819)

 

 

Logistics & Transport

 

International departure tax for Venezuelans is now Bs.5,100 (34 Tax Units), up 900%, according to a resolution from the Vargas state Tax Administration Superintendent’s Office (SATVAR, in Spanish). (Veneconomy, http://www.veneconomy.com/site/index.asp?ids=44&idt=45587&idc=2)

 

While in Latin America, air travel increased 2-12% last year, in Venezuela it dropped 8.5%, according to the International Air Transportation Association (IATA). The IATA repeated its criticism of the measures taken by the Venezuelan regime which have hurt airlines and have made it impossible for Venezuelans to fly since the offer is scarce and the tickets are rather expensive. (Veneconomy, http://www.veneconomy.com/site/index.asp?ids=44&idt=45575&idc=3)

 

 

Commodities

 

P&G Venezuela announced it was increasing its current production capacity of dishwashing liquid four times fold, up 25% in detergent production. The production increase will begin in November, according to a company’s press release. (Veneconomy, http://www.veneconomy.com/site/index.asp?ids=44&idt=45585&idc=3)

 

 

Economy & Finance

 

 

Goldman Sachs expects liquidity crunch to worsen in 2016

Under current expectations for oil prices, the liquidity crunch could worsen considerably in 2016 when we estimate a cash-flow deficit of US$ 18.4 billion. While we expect that additional contraction of domestic absorption could help to further reduce the current account deficit – from US$ 15.9 billion to US$ 13.2 billion – an inevitable reduction of extraordinary financing or the one-offs used this year would result in a noticeable increase in the external cash shortage. Policy inaction could further exacerbate the deterioration of domestic macroeconomic conditions. But at this moment, besides a forced devaluation of the preferential exchange rate in the post-electoral period, it is difficult to foresee a meaningful policy reaction to the more adverse economic backdrop. The fate of the credit would thus increasingly depend on additional financing from China and/or some type of liability management that postpones (or reduces) some short-term external debt payments. SEE ATTACHED REPORT.

 

Moody’s reports hyperinflation has begun here

Moody's agency has issued a report warning that Venezuela is undergoing "current inflation is a hyperinflationary event", adding that there is no official data on inflation through September 15th, but that unofficial projections indicate the current situation has resulted in a "serious crisis that can only be overcome through deep structural change". More in Spanish: (El Nacional; http://www.el-nacional.com/)

 

Purchasing power has dropped 40% year to date

Henkel García, a director of the ECONOMETRIC think tank, says scarcity of food and basic products, plus high inflation have caused a drop of 40% in buying power in Venezuela year to date. More in Spanish:  (El Nacional; http://www.el-nacional.com/)

 

 

Politics and International Affairs

 

Hounded by unpopularity, Maduro plays at war

Venezuela's ruler Nicolás Maduro speaks of peace but is decidedly on a war footing. Two days had not gone by after he pledged to lower tensions with Bogotá and he was already threatening to close down more border passes and calling out the specter of war with Guyana. The collapse of Venezuela's economy has left Maduro with only the drum of nationalism to revive the ashes of the now unpopular "bolivarian" revolution facing parliamentary elections in which the opposition carried a 30% lead. The crisis has been created by Maduro with two key goals: Distract public opinion and torpedo free exercise in border municipalities where he has declared a state of siege.  More in Spanish: (El Nuevo Herald: http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/mundo/america-latina/venezuela-es/article36332061.html#storylink=cpy)

 

Analyst claims border conflict has positive political connotations for regime

DATANALISIS President Luis Vicente León says it is convenient for the Venezuelan government to keep up the border crisis because it has "positive political connotations" for the regime. More in Spanish: (Noticiero Digital: http://www.noticierodigital.com/2015/09/luis-vicente-leon-tema-de-la-frontera-tiene-connotaciones-politicas-positivas-para-el-gobierno-venezolano/)

 

Guyana accuses Venezuela of 'aggressive behavior' near border area, is ready to mobilize troops

Guyana's President David Granger says Venezuela has launched an "extraordinary military deployment" in the east of the country, near a disputed border area. "We have noticed during the month of September an extraordinary escalation of Venezuelan military activity in eastern Venezuela," Granger said. "It is a persistence of aggressive behavior, hostile behavior towards Guyana," he said, adding the deployment was "mostly marine and various forms of ground forces." He did not provide further details. Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino had announced that the armed forces were conducting military exercises in both the east and west of the country. Chief of Guyana Defense Forces Mark Phillips says his country is ready to mobilize troops along the border with Venezuela, and reiterated allegations that significant and unusual military movements are taking place on the Venezuelan side. Phillips added that so far there has been no increase in the number of Guyanese troops deployed along the border with Venezuela, but it could happen in the event of any aggression against the territory of Guyana. (Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/22/venezuela-guyana-idUSL1N11S1YC20150922; Latin American Herald Tribune, http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2397037&CategoryId=10717; http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2396975&CategoryId=10717; El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150923/guyana-ready-to-mobilize-troops-along-the-border-with-venezuela)

 

Foreign Ministers of Venezuela, Colombia start meetings here

Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs Delcy Rodríguez and her Colombian counterpart María Ángela Holguín, began a meeting in the seat of the Venezuelan Foreign Office here, the first one of a number of meetings intended to get the border situation back to normal. Holguín attended with Colombia's ministers of Defense, Luis Carlos Villegas; Treasury and Finances, Mauricio Cárdenas; and Mines and Energy, Tomás González; the high military command; the president of the Colombian Petroleum Company, Juan Carlos Echeverry, and representatives of the National Administration of Taxes and Customs (DIAN). No announcements were made following the meeting. Prior to that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos reported that in the meeting held in Quito, he told  his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolás Maduro that he "broke the rules of the game" by not calling him in advance when he decided to shut down the border and to "violate the rights" of Colombians. (El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150923/fms-of-venezuela-colombia-start-meeting-in-venezuelan-foreign-office; http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150923/santos-maduro-broke-the-rules-of-the-game)

 

Colombia's Gaviria may bring suit against Maduro

César Gaviria, Colombia's former President and former Secretary General of the Organization of American States, is meeting with that country's other former Presidents, Andrés Pastrana and Álvaro Uribe to analyze the border situation with Venezuela, and is considering bringing suit against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in international courts. Gaviria will also denounce potential fraud in upcoming parliamentary elections here, as well as constant violation of human rights in this country. More in Spanish: (El Nacional; http://www.el-nacional.com/)

 

31 former heads of state call for observers in Venezuela's parliamentary elections

31 democratic former heads of state from Spain and Latin America have again come together to denounce damage to democratic freedoms in Venezuela and call for "impartial and technically qualified international oversight by the UN, the OAS and the European Union" in parliamentary elections here December 6th. The group's  statement is signed by Eduardo Duhalde and Fernando de la Rúa (Argentina); Fernando H. Cardoso (Brazil); Jorge Quiroga (Bolivia); Sebastián Piñera, Ricardo Lagos and Eduardo Frei (Chile); Andrés Pastrana, Álvaro Uribe, Belisario Betancur and César Gaviria (Colombia); Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Rafael Ángel Calderón, Laura Chinchilla, Óscar Arias and Luis Alberto Monge (Costa Rica); Osvaldo Hurtado and Lucio Gutiérrez (Ecuador); Alfredo Cristiani and Armando Calderón Sol (El Salvador); Felipe Calderón and Vicente Fox (México); Mireya Moscoso, Nicolás Ardito-Barletta and Ricardo Martinelli (Panamá); Juan Carlos Wasmosy (Paraguay); Alejandro Toledo (Perú); José María Aznar and Felipe González (Spain); and Luis Alberto Lacalle and Julio María Sanguinetti (Uruguay). Bolivia´s Quiroga asserted that "Brazil is a leader and must take a clear position" on this matter. Uruguay's Sanguinetti and Lacalle added that Venezuela is belligerent and lacks an independent system of justice; and Sanguinetti says if the upcoming election is "honest" it will make for a "very important change". More in Spanish: (El Nacional; http://www.el-nacional.com/; Infolatam: http://www.infolatam.com/2015/09/23/31-expresidentes-reclaman-observacion-electoral-en-venezuela/;  http://www.infolatam.com/2015/09/24/sanguinetti-y-lacalle-venezuela-es-beligerante-y-sin-justicia-independiente/)

 

Leopoldo López' wife to bring case to UN General Assembly

Lilian Tintori, the wife of jailed Venezuelan dissenter Leopoldo López has announced she will attend the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York next week to present the case of her husband, who was sentenced to nearly 14 years of imprisonment, and also the situation of dissenters described as "political prisoners" by the Venezuelan opposition. (El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150923/leopoldo-lopezs-wife-to-address-un-general-assembly)

 

Machado charges that closing the border seeks total militarization

Maria Corina Machado has charged that President Nicolás Maduro's goal in calling for a new border is to have Venezuela end up "fenced in, incommunicated, humiliated and despoiled". "They do not want anyone to find out about abuse and outrages that are daily committed against citizens". More in Spanish: (El Nacional; http://www.el-nacional.com/)

 

Caracas Metropolitan Mayor Antonio Ledezma’s preliminary hearing was deferred for the sixth time this Tuesday even though the Criminal Code establishes it must be done within 45 days from the day the defendant is arrested. Ledezma was arrested last February 19. The hearing is now scheduled for October 21. (Veneconomy, http://www.veneconomy.com/site/index.asp?ids=44&idt=45578&idc=1)

 

Venezuela denies having funded Peru's Humala

The Venezuelan embassy in Peru denied Venezuela had funded the 2006 electoral campaign of incumbent president Ollanta Humala. According to a TV show, called "Cuarto Poder" (Fourth Power), the government of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez secretly funded Humala's campaign for president. An alleged witness reported transactions amounting to US$ 400,000, through Brazil's ODEBRECHT construction company. Peru's Attorney General Office is currently investigating Humala's wife for having received large amounts of money at the time. (El Universal, http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150923/venezuela-denies-funding-of-perus-ollanta-humala)

 
 

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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