Bolivia expects hopes to guarantee $5 billion income from gas sales to Brazil

Bolivia could keep open the Brazilian market for Bolivian natural gas for the next 3 or four years. The contract with Brazil should finish at the end of this year. The Hydrocarbons Minister, Victor Hugo Zamora, said that they expect to signed an addendum to the contract in the next 70 days that will define the shipments to the gas still not taken by Brazil (around 12 months) and also it guarantees an income of around $5 billion for Bolivia.

Bolivia's Central Bank has a new president

Bolivia’s President, Jeanine Añez, named economist Guillermo Aponte Reyes as interim president of Bolivia’s Central Bank (BCB) and also nominated four interim directors: Luis Armando Pinell Siles, Walter Morales Carrasco, Jose Gabriel Espinoza Yañez and Roger Alejandro Vargas Rivero. Aponte Pensions Superintendent during the second government of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.

S&P revised outlook on Bolivia to negative

Standard & Poor’s put Bolivia’s rating to BB- and revised its outlook to negative. Citing “risks to external and debt positions”, S&P said there was at least a one in three chance of a downgrade in the next six to 18 months, amid political uncertainty, poor GDP growth prospects and further erosion of fiscal metrics.

Traditional exports fell 24% in volume and 6% in value until the end of October

Bolivia’s traditional exports fell 24% in volume and 6% in value between January and October 2019, reported the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE). Traditional exports represent 79% of Bolivia’s total exports and natural gas is the main product, whose exports fell 25% in volume and 18% in value. Regarding non-traditional exports that include products such as soybean, there was an increase of 17% in volume but a drop of 2% in value.

YPFB names new CEO amid economic difficulties

Bolivia’s government named Herland Soliz Montenegro as new CEO for state oil company YPFB. Soliz replaces Jose Luis Rivero who left the office after announced that YPFB is in economic bankruptcy, although he retracted later on this statement. However, oil and gas experts warned that YPFB is going through economic difficulties as a result of a continuing expansion on spending and negative results in exploration and unprofitable industrialisation projects.

Bolivia's gas production fell 24% since 2014 and reserves fell to 7.3TCF

2019 has been a particularly difficult year for Bolivia’s hydrocarbon sector. There was a drop in about 24% of gas production compared to 2014; reserves fell to 7.3 trillion cubic feet (TCF); Brazil fined Bolivia with $133 million; and the signed addendum to the contract with Argentina involves a 40% reduction in export volumes compared to the initial agreement, which means a revenue drop of Bs.6.757 million ($977.5 million), according to national and regional Government sources.