Bolivia has in its territory, about 21 million certified metric tons. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported in February of this year, in its annual report “Mineral Commodity Summaries”, that Bolivia is the first lithium holder displacing Argentina, which occupied that position until 2019. More than one country will likely be interested in participating in the development of what could be Bolivia’s new economic engine. However, those ambitious plans will have to wait for the elections of a new government, the end of the quarantine and the hard reactivation of the mining and industrial sector.
The latest report reveals that 600 have ceased operation, which is 50% of the small and medium producers in the country, according to the Association of Poultry Farmers (Avipar). They decided to ‘throw in the towel’ in a business that pays Bs 3.50 per kilo of live chicken and that in the current situation requires a production cost of Bs 8 for the same volume. The sector demands state support.
The Electricity and Nuclear Energy Control Authority stated that during the month of April a total discount of Bs 177.8 million ($25.5 mn) was made to 2.6 million homes in the country. The State plans to invest Bs 490 million ($70.4 mn) for this economic relief measure for the population, though will extend it for the months of May and June, according to data from the Ministry of Economy.
The World Bank (WB) warned today that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus crisis could push 60 million people around the world into extreme poverty, with hundreds of millions more losing their jobs in the face of the sharp economic downturn expected in 2020. According to the institution’s estimates, the global economy will collapse by about 5% this year.
In the second half of March, Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) stopped acquiring 15 to 20 million litres of anhydrous alcohol committed to the mills, a situation that is causing severe economic damage to the sugarcane sector. At the beginning of the year, YPFB and the mills signed an addendum for three months to extend the contract to buy anhydrous alcohol for 2019, whose purchase volume had not even reached 50% of the 150 million litres committed.
Local production registered a 12% drop, according to data released yesterday by the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE). According to the information, only in the first three months of 2020, Bolivia purchased from other countries 6,632 tons, the total figure of purchase in 2019 had reached 6,658 tons.
Flower growers in the department of Cochabamba reported an accumulated loss of 100 million Bolivians ($14.37 mn), not counting the total loss of their jobs, during the entire time of the coronavirus pandemic quarantine. More than 4,200 families were affected in the municipalities of Cercado, Quillacollo, Vinto, Sipe Sipe, Tiquipaya, Tarata and the Cochabamba Tropics.
The government bought 178 Spanish Innova ventilators and paid $27,600 for each one with an IDB loan. The State paid an excess of US$ 2.5 million. The IDB also announced on its website that it would allocate an additional $1 million for 30 high-complexity equipment, for only $4,000 each.