In February 2020, Bolivian exports reached US$1.4 billion, 8% more than the value recorded in the same period in 2019, and the volume exported grew by 5%. The cost of foreign sales of non-traditional products registered an increase of 6%, while in volume dropped 4%. The growth of the jewellery, sugar and sunflower sectors stands out. Hydrocarbon and mineral exports increased 9% in value and 6% in volume concerning February 2019.
The department of Santa Cruz is the leading market for coca leaf due to the consumption of more than 9,000 metric tons, according to 2018 data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Thirty-seven per cent of the national coca leaf production (24,278 metric tons) goes to the region of Santa Cruz. The pound of legal coca leaf for chewing at the Santa Cruz market usually costs Bs 50, but now, in times of quarantine, it is scarce, and the price of the pound varies between Bs 120, 150, 180 and Bs 200.
With the price of oil at $30 a barrel, the Vaca Muerta gas fields in Argentina and the Pre-Sal in Brazil are unviable. Faced with a drop in production in Argentina, due to the characteristics of the shale gas extracted from Vaca Muerta, an addendum could be rushed with that country, because the current one is very complacent and disadvantageous for Bolivia. The state will sell gas to Brazil and Argentina for $3 per BTU, the great advantage of the country is the investment in pipelines that it has until these two markets.
When the quarantine ends on April 15, the manufacturing industry will begin to operate with a loss of Bs 121.8 million ($17.5 mn). The National Chamber of Industry (CNI) calculated that during the emergency period, the industrial activity loses Bs 4.8 million ($700,000) per day. Since the sanitary emergency, only 17% of the industries are operating with relative normality; the rest are paralyzed or working at the minimum of their installed capacity.
The Bolivian Highway Administration (ABC) may directly contract works for an amount of up to 58 million Bolivians ($8.3 mn), to meet contingencies caused by rains and other natural disasters. The measure will be in force for seven months, according to Supreme Decree 4208.