CARACAS, Wednesday January 09, 2013 | Update

Shortage of US dollars threatens food supply in Venezuela

In 2012, Venezuela's deficit of US dollars amounted to USD 11.9 billion. The gap was filled with parallel spending

Think-tank Ecoanalítica estimates that sales of US dollars to the private sector may account for USD 18 billion roughly (File photo)
Wednesday January 09, 2013  11:59 AM
Since Venezuela's domestic demand of goods is higher than production, the gap is filled with imports. Nonetheless, a low supply of US dollars is currently hampering a normal flow of imports, thus threatening the supply of goods.

Amidst increased restrictions to buy US dollars in the second half of 2012, goods stocks are running low early in 2013.

In 2012, the Venezuelan manufacturing sector grew only 2.1%. Meanwhile, private and public imports amounted to USD 56.3 billion, with government imports growing faster than private imports.

Asdrúbal Oliveros, an economist and CEO of think tank Ecoanalítica, has pointed out that the country does not have enough US dollars to meet the private sector's demand. In 2012, he remarked that the US dollar deficit escalated to USD 11.9 billion. The gap was filled with parallel funds administered by the Venezuelan State.

Oliveros added that more restrictions are expected in 2013 and sales of US dollars to the private sector may amount to USD 18.8 billion, compared to USD 25.7 billion in 2012.

The Government has used parallel funds to meet the public sector's US dollar demand. Ecoanalítica estimates that parallel funds accounted for USD 24.5 billion early in 2012. By the end of the year, the funds stood at USD 12 billion.

Translated by Jhean Cabrera
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