Bolivia’s trade deficit registered a substantial fell from $US713 million in the first nine months of 2017 to $US148 million in the same period of 2018, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE). The main destine of Bolivian exports where Brazil, Argentina and India, while the main imports came from China, Brazil and Argentina.
Argentina and Brazil opened to foreign investment, and thus they managed to increase their oil and gas reserves. They also progressed to become self-sufficient in energy. Meanwhile, Bolivia stayed behind as there were no new oil and gas discoveries in the last decade. “Therefore the rules must be modified to attract private capital towards the hydrocarbon sector,” stated energy consultant Boris Gomes Uzqueda.
Argentina and Brazil have cancelled a debt of $US257 million to Bolivia for the purchase of gas, informed Bolivia’s Central Bank president, Pablo Ramos. He added that the money would increase the country’s international reserves.
Mining company San Cristobal extract in 2017 a total of 634,000 tonnes of zinc-silver and plumb-silver concentrate. According to former Mining Minister, Dioniso Garzon, San Cristobal’s production is equivalent to 50% of all extractions in Bolivia and represent around 25% of the incomes.
“State-owned companies produced Bs. 51,360 million in incomes between 2006 and 2017, said Veronica Ramos, director of the Technical Bureau for the Strengthening of the Public Enterprise (OFEP).
Due to a high demand bureaus exchange in La Paz were left without dollars for selling to the public. The incident occurred a week after the Bolivian Central Bank decided to close the sell of the US currency through its windows.
Bolivia received more than $US36 bn thanks to the nationalisation of hydrocarbons companies in 2006, according to the President of the state oil corporation (YPFB).
Paraguay is currently working on the Bolivian proposal to enhance the Paraguay-Parana waterway. The current transport capacity on the waterway is of 100 million tonnes per year. The Paraguayan Minister of Public Works said that his country is ready to support any integration initiative in the region.
The Bolivian State Oil corporation (YPFB) pays to sugar mills in the country up to 26.7% more for ethanol than the market price in Brazil. Sugar mills are paid $US0.71 cents per litre while in Brazil the price is $US0.52 cents.
Bolivia is in contact with Brazil and Argentina to review the gas agreements with the two countries. According the Hydrocarbons Minister, Luis Alberto Sanchez, said that the negotiations will impact on the volume of shipments but it can be expected that the prices will not change. However, regional authorities in Bolivia feared that the new contracts will have a negative impact on royalties.