The Ministry of Economy reported that at the end of 2019, external debt stood at $11,079 million, representing 26% of Bolivia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to data from the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE), until November last year gold exports reached a value of $ 1,542 million and zinc to $ 1,214 million, both concentrating 47% of mineral commodities, with a total amount of $ 3,787 million. Exports of hydrocarbons (natural gas, gasoline and LPG) totalled $ 2,593 million, 32% of Bolivian exports. As of November, traditional and non-traditional exports reached a value of $ 7,991 million, down 4% than in the same period of 2018.
Herland Soliz, executive chairman of Bolivian Fiscal Oilfields (YPFB), reported on Thursday that there is a urea “overstock” at the Urea and Ammonia Plant, without giving figures. Faced with this situation, they decided to stop the production of fertilizer. Bolivia currently produces 54 million cubic meters of gas per day(mm3/d). 13mm3/d meet domestic demand, 30 mm3/d are delivered to Brazil and between 10 and 12 mm3/d to Argentina. Using the urea plant requires volumes of gas to produce fertilizer that has no optimal sales prices. The Plant has been paralyzed for two months and has no date to resume its activities.
Peru and Bolivia on Thursday signed an agreement ending the trade conflict over imports and exports of agricultural products between the two countries. Among the points agreed by both countries are the restitution of phytosanitary permits and border inspections. According to data from the Agricultural Chamber of the East (CAO), about 30% of oleaginous production goes to Peru. According to the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE), Peru places in the Bolivian market about 2,000 products, but the country only sells 150. This imbalance generated a trade deficit of more than $ 1 billion for Bolivia over the past six years. Peru pledged to open its market to more Bolivian products.
The Minister of Hydrocarbons, Víctor Hugo Zamora, reported that the Government of Bolivia decided to break its contract with a Cuban company for the sale of urea, because the set price is low, causing economic damage to the country. He did not specify how much damage it caused. The product will be incorporated into the domestic market to improve its price and competitiveness. In June 2019, the government of former President Morales signed agreements with Havana for the export from Bolivia of wood, urea and fabrics for about $12 million.
The Potassium Chloride Plant has a production capacity of 350 thousand tons per year, and today we are producing only 25,000 tons per year, less than 10%,” said Vice Minister for High Energy Technologies, Luis Ferrufino Terceros, yesterday. The plant’s “poor design” caused evaporation pools to collapse and brine extraction equipment to become damaged by flooding in the salt flat during the rainy season. Bolivian Lithium Sites (YLB) calls on insurer Credinform to take care of the loss of brine extraction pumps that were lost underwater.
After 20 years, Petrobras’ presence in Bolivia begins to come to an end; the Brazilian company has expressed an intention to sell its assets in Bolivia and Uruguay. The decision is the sum of several factors, such as the decline in production of the San Alberto and San Antonio fields; suspension of exploration in San Telmo Norte and Astillero in the Tariquía reserve and the lack of the company’s resources to continue operating in areas such as Presal in Brazil.
After the Government announced its intention to “friendly” dissolve the partnership with a German company for the exploitation of lithium, Germany’s ambassador to Bolivia, Stefan Duppel, warned that stopping the project would be a significant setback for relations between the countries, that would affect Bolivia’s credibility for investment.
The general manager of the National Telecommunications Company (Entel), Elio Montes, reported that in 60 days Bolivia would splice its connection to the Pacific fibre optics by the border town of Desaguadero, which will allow to reduce tariffs and increase the speed internet service offered by the state firm. Bolivia currently has one of the lowest-speed and most expensive internet services in the region.
The president of the Bolivian’s Single Federation of Microelectronics Technicians, Donato López, reported on Tuesday that 50% of cell phones are “cloned” in the country and that organization works on technical methods to disable stolen mobile equipment. We estimate there are twenty million cell phones. To determine how many official and cloned phones exist in Bolivia, telephone companies in coordination with the police require a “blackout”.