Venezuela's oil sector imports swell 88%
Consumption of oil intermediary goods amounts to USD 5.21 billion so far this year
By the third quarter, oil-related imports amounted to USD 7.76 billion, 88.4% above the USD 4.11 billion reported in the first three quarters in 2011. The public sector's oil-related imports accounted for at least 50.6% of this figure. This is a significant hike compared to 32.7% a year earlier.
In detail, the government's oil-related imports in 2012 focused on intermediate goods, which totaled USD 5.21 billion or 67% of oil sector imports. The remaining oil-related imports were intended for gross fixed capital formation, including investments in equipment and machinery, which totaled USD 2.54 billion this year.
Out of these two categories, the highest jump was recorded in the purchase of intermediate goods (up 130%) with respect to USD 2.26 billion recorded from January-September 2011.
José Guerra, economist, university professor, and a former economic researcher at the BCV, explained, "Intermediate goods are those used to produce others. In our case, this shows an increase in imports of goods to produce fuel, such as blends for gasoline, raw materials, and inputs for the processing of refined products. These are products no longer produced by refineries here."
The economist highlighted that purchases of intermediate goods in the oil sector (including those by the private sector) have jumped 395% since 2000. By the third quarter of 2000, imports of intermediate consumption goods hit USD 1.05 billion.
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
The can of tuna, formerly a fairly normal pantry staple, has long been missing from stores in Venezuela, especially the domestic brands. When tuna cans, imported or domestic, do occasionally show up on store shelves, prices have increased several fold.