In 2019, Bolivia’s total maritime cargo amounted to 5.6 million tons. 67% of the shipment, 3.7 million tons, moved across the Pacific Ocean through Chilean ports, 14.7% less than in 2018. On the Atlantic Ocean and through the Paraguay-Paraná Waterway, moved 1.3 million tons of cargo.
The Governor’s Office of Santa Cruz will suspend at least eight projects for Bs 35 million ($ 5 million), due to the fall in oil prices and the reduction of its income. The institution budgeted Bs 250 million ($35.9 million) for 2020 with a reference price of $52 per barrel of oil. The cost of crude oil fell to $20 per barrel, affecting income nationwide.
The Las Lomas-Buenavista steel plant enters the final stage of assembly. The works register progress of 90% in the rolling area and 70% in the steel plant. The industrial complex will cover 50% of the national demand, will produce for the domestic market 200,000 tons of rebar, primary input in the construction sector. The investment is approximately $169 million.
Since the total quarantine applied in the country, last March 22nd, 550 industries of the city of Santa Cruz stopped their operations. Santa Cruz contributes more than 25% to Bolivia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The only companies authorized to operate, according to government regulations, are those that produce food.
The government will absorb the electricity expenses of nearly 2.5 million households that do not exceed the consumption of Bs 120 per month, at the cost of Bs 282 million ($40.5 million). For household water and gas consumption, the Government instructed that these services should not cut off. More than 6.15 million family baskets will be distributed, mobilizing 90,000 tons of food for people without a fixed economic income.
Due to the presence of the Covid-19, the restrictions in Argentina and the lack of return cargo, national carriers prefer not to travel and take care of their health, so banana exports fell by more than 60%. The economic damage amounts to an estimated three million dollars. In 2019 banana exports fell 10% in value and 8% in volume compared to 2018. In January 2020 the figure had a 10% drop in value. In Chapare, there are 7,800 hectares of bananas, and the national banana competes with Brazilian, Paraguayan and Ecuadorian fruit.
Mineral exports fall more than 30% in 2020, due to low Chinese demand as a result of the coronavirus. The situation becomes worse by the reduction in international prices and threatens 50,000 cooperative miners who could become unemployed. Bolivian gold exports reached only $0.4 million in January 2020, the volume of minerals exported fell by 16%, and exports to China fell by 15.2%.
Given the health emergency that the country is experiencing due to the coronavirus, the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) approved two operations between Tuesday and Friday for a total of Bs 10.476 billion, about $1.505 billion at the current exchange rate.
The “health emergency” loan of one billion dollars (Bs 7 billion) issued by the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) to deal with the effects of the coronavirus would leave our NIR bordering on five billion dollars, since according to the most recent BCB report as of March 12, 2020, it showed a level of reserves of $6.29 billion.
The Executive President a.i. of the National Tax Service, resolved to extend the deadline for the payment of tax obligations, through a resolution, until the period from April 30 to May 29, depending on the formalities to be presented.