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, October 13, 2015

October 13, 2015

International Trade


Cargo that has arrived at Puerto Cabello

  • 30,000 tons of yellow corn for state agency Corporación de Abastecimiento y Suministros Agrícolas (CASA)
  • Over 20 combat vehicles for the National Armed Forces (FANB)

Cargo that has arrived at Bolipuertos Maracaibo

  • 5,000 tons of wheat from Canadá
  • 78 containers of general cargo
(More in Spanish: Bolipuertos,


Brazilian ship sinks bearing 5,000 head of cattle for Venezuela

A Brazilian ship bearing 5,000 head of live cattle bound for Venezuela sank while still at port in Vila do Conde in Northeast Brazil. Crew members emerged unscathed. The cargo was insured and total losses are estimated at US$ 3.7 million. More in Spanish: (El Mundo,



Oil & Energy

West Texas oil price plunges 5.1% to US$ 47.1 per barrel

The price of West Texas intermediate oil (WTI) has dropped down by 5.1$ to US$ 47.1 per barrel due to profit taking after a week of strong gains . More in Spanish: (EFE:


OPEC's oil output grows; non-OPEC production expected to decline

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached a new record in crude oil output, hitting 31.57 million barrels per day (BPD) in September. Its low prices strategy has borne fruit, as oil supply from OPEC competitors is expected to decline next year. "In 2016, the postponing or cancelling of upstream projects will likely continue, resulting in contraction of 0.13 mbd in non-OPEC supply," the OPEC said in its monthly oil market report. The report noted that the strategy of the 12 OPEC members of defending its market share instead of oil prices, has managed to curb soaring crude oil supply from non-OPEC members, especially US shale oil. (El Universal,


Venezuela calls on OPEC to control output, seeks US$70 floor price

Venezuela this month will unveil a bold new strategy for rescuing ailing oil prices, one lifted from the OPEC's history books – a price band that would build an automatic floor for prices at US$ 70 a barrel. Venezuela's long-time oil minister and current United Nations ambassador Rafael Ramirez says the proposal – to be presented to a meeting of OPEC technical advisors on Oct. 21 – would reapply the old mechanism of progressive production cuts to control prices, with a "first floor" of US$ 70 per barrel and a later target of YS$ 100 per barrel. "We will try to progressively recover the price," he said. The proposal offers the first detailed public insight into Venezuela's months-long global effort to drum up support for measures to revive oil prices. (Reuters,; El Universal,





Scarcities worsen despite border closing and state of siege

Residents of San Antonio and Ureña in Táchira state, along the Colombian border, say lines to load up on cheap gasoline have shrunk considerably but expectations raised about diminished scarcity levels in basic products have not been met and the situation continues to worsen. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


5.000 coal carriers are out of work

Around 5,000 Venezuelans who transport Colombian coal  from the North Santander area to the ports of La Ceiba and Maracaibo in Venezuela's Zulia state are  in the dark as to the future, ever since the border was closed. Over 1,300 Venezuelan transport units were engaged in moving Colombian coal to Venezuelan ports. More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


PDVSA seeks investors in gold, coal and nickel mining

Eulogio del Pino, Minister for Petroleum and Mining and President of Petróleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA), met with representatives of various state institutions to outline strategies to attract investment in the gold, coal and nickel mining industries. The meeting was attended by Central Bank President Nelson Merentes; José Khan, President of the Venezuelan Corporation of Mining; and the state company representatives from Loma de Níquel, CARBOZULIA, and the Guayana Corporatión (CVG). (El Universal,



Economy & Finance


The 2016 Budget and Indebtedness Bill will be presented to the National Assemby by Finance, Economy and Public Banking Minister General Rodolfo Marco Torres, next week. Once presented, it will be referred to the Assembly’s Finance and Economic Development Committee and should be “debated” at the Plenary and passed in December. (Veneconomy,



Politics and International Affairs


Maduro has weakened both the PSUV and "chavismo" by over 20 percentage points

According to a group of polling agencies including HERCON, KELLER, DATANÁLISIS and VENEBARÓMETRO, President Nicolás Maduro has been unable to gain support since he became president as the "son of Chavez". His personal support is now down to 18%, along with support for the pro-government PSUV party, with a shrinking number of Venezuelans still describing themselves as "chavistas".  His efforts to fight crime and scarcity have been able to stop the downward trend. More in Spanish:  (El Nacional;


Regime supporters propose a 3 point agreement for upcoming parliamentary elections

Carabobo governor Colonel Francisco Ameliach, one of the campaign chiefs for the government coalition has asked the National Elections Council (CNE) to promote an agreement by all political parties to "respect the Constitution and, above all, preserve peace in the nation". He said the CNE must be respected "as the only sovereign arbiter to announce election results", along with "respect for bulletins that are issued, not only on the day of elections but also in ensuing dates".  He charged they have "important indications that domestic elements are plotting with international elements to destabilize". Pro regime campaign chief Jorge Rodríguez said pro government forces have always abided by results, and President Nicolás Maduro has previously announced he is willing to sign such a document prepared by the CNE and agree to recognize election results in December 6th parliamentary elections, and called on the opposition to do likewise. The opposition continues to insist on independent international observers. More in Spanish: (Infolatam,;  El Universal,; El Nacional;


...and CNE's Tibisay Lucena joins in charges of a "smear campaign"

Tibisay Lucena, the chair of the National Electoral Council (CNE), has also issued warnings about an alleged smear campaign against the CNE at both national and international levels, which in her view "seeks to confuse and manipulate the public opinion in general on the parliamentary elections to be held on December 6 of this year." She said that they had "identified the implementation of a communication strategy against the body, one that we have assessed and found appropriate to complain about, because what it seeks is to undermine the peaceful development of the elections, based on the use of false and manipulated reports, spreading misinformation and unleashing a dirty war." (Latin American Herald Tribune,


Human Rights Watch calls for verification in upcoming elections

José Miguel Vivanco, Human Rights Watch Director for the Americas says parliamentary elections in Venezuela are crucial to overcoming divisiveness here, and called for international verification in order to guarantee transparency. "The presence of international observes is absolutely central in vote counting, preferably on a parallel basis, and with the ability to guarantee fair competitive conditions for elections...elections must be competitive, open, transparent and must have credibility". More in Spanish: (El Nacional;


Venezuela again repeats willingness to engage US in bilateral talks based on respect

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez has again stated the will of Venezuela's government to continue discussing normal relations with the US, on a bilateral basis based on respect.  She said recent statements by US Secretary of State John Kerry questioning Venezuelan democracy are proof of low disposition toward a respectful dialogue. More in Spanish: (Agencia Venezolana de Noticias;


Maduro says Colombia border will remain closed until peace is achieved

President Nicolás Maduro has said border posts with Colombia will remain closed until a "border of peace" is developed with the Colombian government. He added that "terrorism" has diminished by 96% in the area, and that Venezuela's Prosecutor General is asking Colombia to extradite an alleged paramilitary chieftain who is responsible for kidnapping and murdering young Venezuelans. He mentioned no names or other details. Venezuelan authorities say 250 people have been arrested in the Táchira state border area, among them 66 military, 28 policemen and 34 alleged Colombian paramilitaries, and Táchira Governor Lieutenant José Vielma Mora said most were involved in outbound smuggling of food, medicine and fuel. More in Spanish: (Infolatam,


US legislators propose a law favoring Venezuelan exiles

Four Florida legislators have set forth a law seeking to grant permanent residence to Venezuelans who migrated to the US before 2012 and cannot return to Venezuela for political reasons. Republican Congressmen Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, along with Democrats Alan Grayson and Debbie Wasserman have proposed the law. (El Nacional;


President Maduro lands in Bolivia for climate change summit

President Nicolás Maduro landed in Cochabamba, Bolivia, o take part in the Second World People's Conference on Climate Change and Defense of Life, hosted by his Bolivian counterpart, Evo Morales. The conclusions drawn in the summit will be presented in the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Paris from November 30. While there he proposed a "green economy" to "contribute with the Pachamama" (Earth Mother). Maduro also congratulated Bolivia on its judicial progress against Chile in gaining access to the sea. He also signed an agreement with Cuban President Raul Castro to develop a joint plan to comply with the UN's 17 sustainable development objectives over the next 15 years. (El Universal,; and more in Spanish: El Universal,; Ultimas Noticias,;; AVN;;;; El Mundo,; El Nacional;



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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