Brazil’s requirements rose to 14 million cubic metres of gas, a situation which, from the perspective of the hydrocarbons minister, augurs well for Bolivia’s revenue recovery. The arrival of winter would also determine an increase in gas demand from Argentina. According to reports from the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE), in the first quarter, natural gas exports represented 33% of total exports, for an amount of $664 million.
Due to the quarantine, the implementation of teleworking and Tele-education, internet consumption in Bolivia increased by 40%, but new users do not even reach 10%. The telephone companies have more than 10 million users, between 80% and 85% are post-paid customers, and the rest opt for prepaid, especially in consumption by cell phone. Because of the quarantine, several post-paid users have been owing bills since January, so the companies are suffering from severe illiquidity, which forced the operators to suspend their investments to improve the service.
Two months after the quarantine, 40% of the 115 formal farms operating in Santa Cruz decided to close due to the sharp drop in demand for pork, which also caused the price of the live kilo to fall to Bs 10.5. Forty-five thousand pigs remained in the production centres of Santa Cruz, a region that supplies 80% of the animal protein in the whole country.
Despite the signing of an interruptible contract between YPFB and Petrobras for the month of May, the volume of exports remains below 14 million cubic meters per day (MMm3d) contemplated in the 8th addendum. Compared to the 21 MMm3d projected in the State’s General Budget (PGE), sales are equivalent to only 50%.
Two months after the quarantine, only three out of 10 cargo trucks are operating in Bolivia. The International Transport Association (Asociaatrin) points out that due to the quarantine there is a lower volume of transport in key sectors such as soy derivatives, mining, and construction. Marcelo Cruz, president of Asociatrin, indicated that in the oilseed sector the volume of cargo contracted by 50%.
The paralysis of the economy, the slow reactivation and the lack of closing of the financial statements of the companies, force the business sector to request a deferment of the payment of the Profit Tax, which is fulfilled this May 29, until October or at least to delay 60 days. The National Chamber of Commerce (CNC-Bolivia) and the National Chamber of Industries (CNI), in a joint statement, said that due to the paralysis of most economic activities during the quarantine, companies have been unable to generate sufficient income to meet their obligations.
Frosts affected about 80% of Postrervalle’s production and 50% of that produced in the municipality of Quirusillas. These areas have potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins and other vegetables are grown for consumption in the department, between 60%, and 70% of the consumption of Santa Cruz. There are 40,000 hectares cultivated.
YPFB expects to resume ethanol withdrawal between June and December, and projects to demand 52 million litres of the additive. A technical committee will evaluate the contract, and the mills will negotiate with representatives from four ministries.
Each year, Bolivia produces about a thousand tons of corn. Santa Cruz has 57%, Tarija 16%, Cochabamba and Sucre 10% each, according to data. It estimates that the consumption of corn in Bolivia is between 17 and 60 kilos per person per year and is the basis for the production of animal feed. The average corn crop yield ranges from 2.08 to 2.72 tons per hectare. The incursion of genetically modified seeds will put at risk the subsistence of at least 28 native varieties widely used in the production of chicha, pasqalla, ch’uspillo, api and others.
According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the value of exports to the first quarter of 2020 reached $7.6 million, while in the similar period last year was at $2.5 million. We are working in coordination with the National Service of Agricultural Security and Food Safety (SENASAG) to export meat to the markets of Russia and Chile, as Bolivia has an exportable surplus of at least 50 thousand tons per year.