Category: Geopolitics

Information about international affairs that can impact the Bolivian economy.

Brazil-Bolivia gas talks suspended

Brazil’s national agency for petroleum, natural gas and biofuels (ANP) says that, until fresh Bolivian elections are conducted, discussions will remain suspended. To further complicate things, Petrobras still has considerable unsupplied gas credits under the expiring contract which could last an additional two to four years.

Brazil’s democracy suffers another blow with ‘Operation Car Wash’ leaks

On Sunday, the Brazilian offshoot of the online news site the Intercept disclosed old private messages between now-Justice Minister Sérgio Moro and the task force of “Operation Car Wash,” the wide ranging corruption probestarted in 2014 that led to the conviction and jailing of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, among many other high-profile figures. The messages show clear collusion between a judge and prosecutors to convict those involved in the operation. Beyond the immediate implications — such as the possible reversal of convictions and the political impact to Moro and to President Jair Bolsonaro’s plans to appoint him to the Supreme Court — it remains to be seen how Brazilians will react.

Bolivia and Paraguay focus their attention on the Bi-oceanic corridor and the waterway Paraná-Paraguay

Bolivia and Paraguay will install on Wednesday, in La Paz, the first binational cabinet to deal with the Bi-oceanic train project and the waterway Paraná-Paraguay, as well as defence and security issues. It is a public and private mission. “We are in a new phase of a fruitful and positive relationship with Bolivia and this relationship have to take advantage of our peoples, so we are here,” said Paraguay’s Foreign Minister, Luis A. Castiglioni. 

Bolivia expressed concern for US-China trade war

Bolivia’s Central Bank warned that the global uncertainty provoked by US-China trade war will impact on the prices of raw material in Latin America. One of the most impacted commodities by the US-China trade conflict has been the soybean, which has seen a sharp drop in price to $290 per tonne, one of the lowest levels in recent years.

NASA identifies challenges to exploit lithium in Bolivia

The excess of rainfall and the high concentration of magnesium and potassium in brine are two of the challenges for efficient exploitation of lithium in Bolivia, according to the Earth Observatory, an institute dependent on the National Administration of the Space and Aeronautics (NASA). According to the institute, these two factors added costs to the exploitation of lithium and make it less competitive to the lithium produced in Argentina and Chile. 

Bolivian cargo flow slows down by Chilean port of Arica

The management of alternative ports such as Ilo in Peru and those over the Tamengo channel on the Paraguay-Parana waterway begin to impact on the cargo flow over the Chilean port of Arica. According to PortalPortuario.cl, Arica managed 103.688 tonnes less of Bolivian cargo in the first quarter of 2019. According to Empresa Portuaria Arica, the Chilean port managed 470,227 tonnes in the first three months of 2019, while in the same period of 2018 it mobilised 573,915 tonnes.

Oil prices increase after the end of US exemptions

Oil prices increased to its highest level in six months after the US Government announced the end of the exemptions that allowed eight countries to buy oil from Iran.  In New York, the light sweet crude (WTI) barrel reached $65.7 while in London the Brent barrel reached $74.04. The price of the WTI barrel is a reference for Bolivia where the government drafted the General Budget (PGE) for 2019 with revenues based on a price of $50.25 per barrel.

Bolivia and Argentina agreed to deepen cooperation on gas and electricity

Bolivia and Argentina aimed to strengthen their ties in the gas and electricity sectors. In an official visit to Argentina, president Evo Morales and his counterpart Mauricio Macri signed various agreements to increase investments on the hydrocarbons and electricity sectors as well as increase the use of Paraguay-Parana waterway to allow Bolivian exports through the Argentinian port of Rosario. Both countries also agreed to strengthen their scientific cooperation to develop biofuels.