The level of Bolivia’s Net International Reserves (RIN) continues to decline and reaches six months of imports. Data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in 2018 reveal the following for the region: Brazil is the country with the most RIN, with reserves enough for 13.6 months of imports. Follow Peru (11.1), Uruguay (10.3), Bolivia (7.8), Colombia (7.1), Argentina (7.1), Paraguay (6), Chile (4.5), Ecuador (0.9) and Venezuela, which has no information available. Bolivia’s RIN continued to fall last year to $ 6,468 million (about six months of imports), according to a report by the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB).
Banks increased interest rates for Fixed Term Deposits (DPFs) to 5.8% and savings banks up to 5%. This service is in effect for a limited time to access these benefits. Attractive rates respond to the economic growth of recent years in Bolivia, which means that more people opt for DPFs as natural and legal people manage more significant amounts of cash resources.
The approval of the credit of more than $40.8 million will allow the financing of public investment projects in the Autonomous Region of Gran Chaco, postponed for more than 20 years. Funding is subject to the Public Investment Project Financing Program Operational Regulations, which provide for the financing of local counterparties and public investment projects with physical advancement.
Once Bolivia completes the Flegt Plan accession process with the European Union (EU), forestry exports expected to increase to more than $20 million, currently exporting timber to the EU worth $12.06 million. The Flegt (Law Enforcement, Governance and Forestry Trade) is a document that confirms that a shipment of wood or products derived from it has been produced legally, following the laws of the exporting country. Only countries that join the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (AVA) with the EU can issue Flegt licenses.
After 12 years of the export ban, in which the country ceased to receive more than $1 billion, the national government enacted the supreme decree authorizing the free export of agricultural products and promoting production; however, President Añez warned that the rule should not mean an increase in prices in the domestic market. The decree exempts the export of products that have self-sufficiency, such as wheat. Soybean Export focuses on four countries: Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Chile. Bolivia seeks to enter China’s Market with soy; currently, the phytosanitary opening is in process. It estimates that this will generate up to $500 million in a year.
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.