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Quick facts on Venezuela's income redistributing, neo-illiberal economy

Aug 14, 2017 08:28 AM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

Venezuela's long slide into destitution has prompted protests, pillaging and political tensions.

Debt by the government and the state-owned oil company PDVSA is estimated at over $100 billion, with annual debt servicing costs of around $10 billion.

Here are some of the figures behind the unrest:

- Economy -

The oil-exporting nation's 2016 gross domestic product is put at $333 billion by the IMF -- but that's calculated on the official currency exchange rate. If the current black market rate to the dollar were used, that number would be significantly less, as highlighted by Venezuelan analysts who speak of less than half that. The government hasn't released an official figure.

The economy has been shrinking since 2014. Last year it contracted 10 percent. This year it is expected to decline another 7.4 percent, according to the IMF, which projected a further drop of 4.1 percent next year.

Inflation this year is expected to soar above 700 percent, and by even more in 2018.

Venezuela is almost totally dependent on oil. It accounts for 96 percent of exports and half of state revenue.

Strict currency controls have been in place since 2003.

The country ranks 166 out of 176 in Transparency International's table of perceived corruption.


- Debt -


Venezuela needs to borrow an estimated $25 billion to $35 billion a year, according to the World Bank.

Debt by the government and the state-owned oil company PDVSA is estimated at over $100 billion, with annual debt servicing costs of around $10 billion.

The government has $10 billion dollars in currency reserves -- almost all of it in the form of gold, which cannot be quickly converted.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro has made sure to pay its bond maturities, diverting money that would otherwise be used to import needed food and medicine.
 

- Oil -

Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world.

PDVSA currently produces 1.9 million barrels per day (mbpd) of oil. That is sharply lower than the 2.6 mbpd last year. The company said its revenues last year dropped more than a third to $48 billion.

Forty percent of that -- around 760,000 barrels a day -- is exported to the United States, its biggest customer. (Venezuela accounts for only eight percent of the oil the US imports, behind shipments from Canada and Saudi Arabia.)

Around another 40 percent of Venezuelan oil exports is used to repay loans extended by China and Russia, according to analysts.

Oil production has been declining over the past two years, because of reduced capital expenditure to replace old equipment and to boost lagging pressure in oil fields. (AFP)


 

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