Venezuela's international reserves drop USD 3.73 billion in 2012
Pdvsa's transfers to the National Development Fund (Fonden) have undermined the amount of US dollars available for the private sector
Statistics from the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) show that as of December 27, international reserves tumbled USD 3.73 billion in 2012 and stood at USD 26.15 billion.
Out of such amount, 85% is gold bars. Dollars in cash -technically known as liquid reserves, which the central bank has immediately available to pay imports and foreign debt, do not exceed USD 3 billion.
State-run oil firm Pdvsa deposits more than half of oil revenue in the National Development Fund (Fonden), a facility the Venezuelan government uses to afford investment projects. Consequently, international reserves dwindle despite high oil prices.
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.