According to data prepared by the Bolivian Institute for Foreign Trade (IBCE), based on the report of the National Statistical Institute (INE), during the first quarter of 2019, the Bolivian state spent $530.4 million in purchases of gasoline and diesel; an increased of $147 million compared to a similar period in 2018, when $383.4 million was eroded.
Rolando Kempff, President of the National Chamber of Commerce (CNC), highlighted the benefits of new markets for Bolivia following the European Union’s agreement with Mercosur. On the diplomatic agenda, it recommended that the country adhere to this process and negotiate the items it considers to affect Bolivian trade.
Under the ‘Bolivia in the age of biofuels’ programme, it was agreed to produce 80 million litres of ‘green fuel’ to mix as an additive with petrol and to reduce the import of petrol, which represents, by value, savings for Bs 400 million. The Agricultural Chamber of the East (CAO) through its general manager, Edilberto Osinaga, stated that if the ethanol 92 project was not launched in the national market, the sugar sector would have faced a crisis worse than the one impacted the soybean sector.
In the midst of criticism for the reduction in the economic resources generated by gas, President Evo Morales called on state oil company YPFB and the Ministry of Hydrocarbons to insist on the exploration of new deposits in non-traditional areas such as North La Paz and Beni.
Bolivia’s two refineries operate, between them, 65% of its installed capacity. The data was released by YPFB Corporación after an audio was leaked in which workers from the subsidiary YPFB Refinación questioned the main heads of the sector: the president of the state, Oscar Barriga and the Minister of Hydrocarbons, Luis Alberto Sanchez, because of the drop in liquid production. In his disclaimer, Yacimientos said the fall is due to the low nominations he receives from one of his main buyers: Brazil.
The Minister of Rural Development and Lands, César Cocarico, reported yesterday that Bolivia is able to export at least 8,000 tons of beef to China, without affecting domestic demand. However, the authority clarified that the sales quota for that Bolivian product was not yet defined with the Asian country.
Economy Minister Luis Arce said that economic indicators in Bolivia are in very good health, growing above 4%, except for those of the export of natural gas to Argentina and Brazil. According to him, the cause for the fall in natural gas export volumes is the return to neoliberalism in Argentina and Brazil. He added that another cause is the US-China trade war. According to Juan Antonio Morales, former president of the Bolivian Central Bank, natural gas is Bolivia’s largest export commodity and cannot be downplayed.
Bolivia yesterday provided China with a health protocol for the export of its beef that will allow it to level its trade balance with the Asian country and to maintain its projections of regional economic growth. President Evo Morales, together with the president of the Federation of Cattlemen of Santa Cruz (Fegasacruz), Ciro Pereyra, presented the ambassador of China to Bolivia, Liang Yu, the document in an event held at the Santa Cruz Exhibition Fair.
The US will expand the import quota of sugar from Bolivia by 1,239 metric tons so that the country will now be able to sell 9,663 tons of raw cane sweetener to the country’s marketa. In January 2018, the Government authorized the free export of sugar and its derivatives. After being stagnant by a lustre, in August of that year the export of raw sugar to the North American market resumed and the the value reached $4.5 million. Bolivia had not used its quota for more than seven years, until September 2018, when it exported 7,500 TM.
The agreement allows the creation of a market of close to 800 million people. It is hailed by both sides as a landmark in global policy making and a coup for their exporting companies.