The authorities of the municipality of San Pedro, 140 kilometres north of the capital of Santa Cruz, reported that the floods last Friday morning affected seven communities and at least 12,976 hectares, leaving considerable losses in soybean, sorghum, corn and vegetable crops.
Bolivian textile apparel fell 68% in value and 67% in volume over the same period in 2019. Jewellers also experienced falls of up to 50%. Quinoa exports improved from an amount of 43.3 million dollars in the first half of 2019 to 45.2 million dollars this year. The sugar sector exported 52.4 million kilograms between January and June this year, a figure higher than the 38.9 million kilograms of 2019. External sales of sunflower and its derivatives reached 75 million kilograms by July 2020, more than the 43.6 million kilograms of 2019.
In May 2016, the government proposed an amendment to Law 767 to extend production contracts of oil and gas corporations willing to commit a minimum to $350mn to exploratory drilling or at least $500mn for exploration and production. The amendment is rolling back one of the major tenets of the sector's 2006 partial nationalisation. In 2012, YPFB awarded exploration concessions to Petrobras (nearly 100,000-hectare area in the department of Santa Cruz) and BG Group, 453,000 hectares in Chuquisaca and Tarija. However, five regions put out to tender by the Bolivian government, with licences for Madre de Dios, La Guardia and Alegria going un-awarded in the international round (YPFB Chaco later picked them up). Some companies are willing to invest in the country's below-ground potential despite the risks, although investment is likely to remain well below the country's potential.
The National Chamber of Industry noted that at least 120,000 jobs are at risk due to the constant social conflicts and the coronavirus pandemic. It is not possible to quantify the number of companies that went bankrupt due to the restrictions caused by the epidemic but said unemployment rose to 9.6% according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
In San Ignacio de Velasco, 3,000 hectares of pasture, corn and peanut crops reported having been affected by the drought. On the livestock side, he said that the lack of availability of forage puts at risk at least 3,500 cattle from the existing herd in the area. However, he noted that tanker trucks distribute water in the rural area for human and animal consumption.
The Federation of Business Entities of Cochabamba (FEPC) calculated a loss of more than 430 million bolivianos ($61.78 mn) for its sector and more than 2.4 billion ($344.83 mn) for the entire region during the 12-day blockade. The manufacturing and industrial area of Cochabamba reports a loss of more than 157 million bolivianos ($22.56 mn); trade, 156 million ($22.41 mn); the agricultural sector 109 million ($15.66 mn); international transport 7 million ($1 mn); exports and customs clearance 138 thousand bolivianos ($19,827).
The government and the sugar-alcohol industry reactivated the ethanol project and plan to purchase 200 million litres of anhydrous alcohol by May 2021. Bolivia imports up to 2 billion litres of gasoline annually. With the signing of the agreement, 10% of that volume will be replaced with biofuel production. Source: El Deber
The international price of gold is close to $2,000 per troy ounce, something that the national government considers encouraging for domestic production. Gold has become a refuge for investments for the countries' reserves, due to the stability of its prices. The share of gold in the International Reserves of the Central Bank is 39.3%. Gold exports and commercialization reactivated in the period January to June 2020, reaching 10,203 kilos, with a gross sales value of some Bs 3.6 billion ($519.4 mn), generating Bs 54.2 million ($7.79 mn) in mining royalties.
Due to the blockades, Bolivia stopped exporting a volume of 8,000 cubic meters to the United States, Uruguay, France, Holland, Brazil, Italy and China, which are the markets that are currently active. The halt in production also caused a very harmful effect on the 90,000 families that depend directly on forestry activity.
During the last five years, Ferroviaria Andina has invested almost 41 million dollars in the train network in the west of the country for track maintenance, station improvement, technology acquisition and the purchase of new trains. More than $10 million was spent on upgrading and extending the railways and $16 million on three new locomotives of the Swiss brand Stadler.