The Emergency Plan for Employment Support and Labor Stability will be financed with resources from the National Treasury (TGN), for Bs 2 billion ($287 mn). The maximum amount per worker is Bs 8,488 ($ 1219), and the interest rate for placement of the credit to companies will be 3.73% per year. Banks will have up to 24 months to repay these resources.
In the first quarter of 2020, Bolivian exports reached US$ 2,031 billion, 2% more than the value recorded in the same period in 2019. The volume exported grew by 8%. The sales value of non-traditional products registered an increase of 2%, and volume rose 1% in March 2020. The growth of the sugar, sunflower and coffee sectors is noteworthy. Hydrocarbons and mineral exports increased 2% in value and 9% in volume, compared to the first quarter of last year.
Foreign trade recorded a trade surplus of $76 million in the first quarter of this year according to data from the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE). The positive balance is the result of a 19% drop in imports compared to the same period of the last administration. Exports rose 1.85%, from $2.026 billion in 2019, to $2.058 billion. The largest bilateral trade surplus was with India for a value of $180 million; the main bilateral trade deficit was with China for an amount of $357 million.
National production of corn reaches one million tons to date, of which Santa Cruz produces 480 thousand tons, according to information from the Association of Corn and Sorghum Producers of Santa Cruz (PROMASOR). The company that supports food production (EMAPA) announced that it would buy 85 thousand tons that do not even reach 10% of the total national supply, at a price of Bs. 61 ($8.76) per quintal. However, producers say that the equilibrium price, which incorporates profits, is Bs 65 ($9.3) per quintal.
YPFB had pledged to buy 150 million litres of anhydrous alcohol from the 2019 harvest but had only bought 47 million and did not specify the amount it would buy this year. Until January 2020, YPFB had only bought 31% of the volume committed during the 2019 management and the first quarter of 2020. The purchase default has generated economic problems for the four ethanol-producing industries.