Venezuela allocates 59% of dollar revenue to pay for imports
The balance-of-payments current account balance plummeted 41%
In his year-end report, President of the Central Bank of Venezuela Nelson Merentes stated that in 2012, imports totaled USD 56.35 billion, the highest amount in the last 16 years. The number amounts to 59% of the dollar revenues Venezuela obtained from exports.
Venezuela's economy is going through a cycle where imports are higher than dollar revenues because the price of oil, which provides 96% of foreign currency revenue, has stabilized.
In 2011, imports accounted for 50% of foreign currency earnings from exports. In 2008, which until now had been the record year, they amounted to 53%.
Dollars from exports not only are used to pay for imports but also to meet other commitments in foreign currency.
While the country's situation is not critical in this respect, the gap between imports, services purchased abroad and transfers, and the foreign currency revenue from exports, which is technically known as the balance-of-payments current account, fell 41%, from USD 24.61 billion in 2011 to USD 14.56 billion in 2012.
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.