Puerto Cabello Non-Baltic Index (PCNI) V: For Once Good News!

May 11, 2016


For once, it feels good to report some reasonably good news, as the Puerto Cabello Non-Baltic Index has been showing some strength for the first time since early March. In fact, there had been no reading of nine ships in port since March 4th., two months ago. The increase has been sustained and I have seen daily changes, but I try to obtain a value at the same time each day (right after sunset). I did miss some days, as I have been traveling.

Despite that we are still below last year’s levels, which simply proves that the country’ foreign Minister lied outright at the United Nations when she claimed Venezuela was importing food for three countries. How these “revolutionaries” can say these things with a straight face is beyond me.

Hopefully, these new arrivals imply some improvement in the availability of food in the upcoming weeks for Venezuelans.


31 Responses to “Puerto Cabello Non-Baltic Index (PCNI) V: For Once Good News!”

  1. test sanchez Says:


    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      The Bolivarian plan here, of course, was to maximize the efficiency of the Chavista food distribution system. Once all of the bullet trains were fully in place and operational, people could easily get out of a 5 mile long food line, run to the nearest train station, hop a high speed Chines-built train, then travel 150 miles or so to a new town and then stand in a food line that was only 2 miles in length. This would be going-on all over Venezuela, people seeking the shortest food lines via high speed trains. The Bolivarian concept here is nothing short of brilliant!

      • .5mt Says:

        Ah, but Doc you overlook the lines at the train station.

      • Dr. Faustus Says:

        Did I mention that the Chavista’s have a plan for train ticket lines as well? Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday people dressed in “loopy-eyed” Chavista t-shirts will be allowed to by-pass all the ticket counters and proceed directly to the trains! Don’t worry, they thought of everything.

      • Ira Says:

        I knew that they had a rational plan in place!

        Thanks for explaining it to me!


  2. Roger Says:

    I’ve seen stories today that folks are eating dogs, cats and such. Can anyone confirm? I don’t think imports are the problem. Corn is 3.47USD a bushel (25Kg) and I doubt they can produce for that in the near future assuming they stop taking big commissions and marking up the transport. The AN still can’t regulate imports and even then, can it be processed at a decent price? Chavez destroyed (stole) the means of production in hopes of the communes or returning the peons back to the haciendas. It will take years and international help to put it back together!

    • M Rubio Says:

      “We’re going to maintain this level of restriction to force the productive sector of the economy to increase output.”

      Well there you have it. After doing everything within their power to absolutely strangle the “productive sector of the economy”, they’re now going to “forcé” that sector to increase output.

      Hey mister economy czar, nothing like ignoring the stinking, rotting dead elephant in the corner like the fact that of the top 50 industrialized countries in the world, Venezuela is ranked as the least business-friendly and most difficult in which to start a business….ie, produce something. From the almost impossible-to-navigate banking sector to the constant harrassment of commerce by national guard roadblocks and the ever-chaning, mind-boggling laws dictated out of Miraflores without consent from the AN, you guys have single-handidly crippled what little productive capacity and incentive to invest that the country once possessed.

      It’s why I say you can’t parody these assclowns.

  3. Diocletian Says:

    I have been looking at the parallel rate on dolartoday. It seems to be stuck around 1,100 for quite some time. It also seems to be largely driven the Colombian Peso’s exchange rate with the US dollar more than anything in Venezuela. Do people with good contacts in Venezuela find this to be a meaningful rate?

    I have several hypotheses. Given the poor state of Venezuela and the lack of any meaningful paper money, perhaps the black market in Cucuta has simply shut down– few go to Venezuela and those that do, deal entirely in dollars or pesos.

    Alternatively, I suppose it is possible that the new exchange rate (DICOM?) is actually working.

    • m_astera Says:

      I’d say it’s more like 1000:1 is about the highest things can go and still function. It’s all play money anyway, backed by nothing.

    • moctavio Says:

      The reason is like that is that the Government has drained liquidity from the private banking system and there is a Bolivar crunch, little lending.

    • Diocletian Says:

      Thank you for the explanation. In practice, do many Venezuelans use dollars for purchases in the unregulated market? Or are they forced to look for Bolivars first and then carry a brick-load for their purchases?

  4. Lee Kuan Yew Says:

    Basically, you share the PDVSA wealth a bit around. Especially in Caracas and the major cities to avoid mass revolts. You give them some electricity, some water, some food, and plenty of fake jobs, and venues to steal for themselves. Everywhere. Minimum salary does not buy you 3 arepas, so you are forced to participate in the Pilferage, in one way or another. Puro Guiso. Everywhere, at all levels. By the Millions and Millions. That’s how Chavismo has stayed in power for 17 years, and counting. Que lindo nuestro “pueblo”.

  5. Lee Kuan Yew Says:

    To stay in power a couple more years, the criminal regime needs to give some bread to the people. Pan y Circo is the proven Roman formula. You bribe millions of people, give them fake jobs with no work to do, and then you allow corruption everywhere, so that millions and millions can steal every month, and remain quiet. That’s how you perpetuate yourself in power. After you expelled 1.5 Million away from the country, and jailed or oppressed your opposition, with the corrupt police, and putrid TSJ, plus the despicable military.

    That’s how you avoid riots, large crowds hitting the streets. Give’em some bread , freebies left and right, or straight out bribe them. By the millions. It’s not just the politicians, or the “gobielno”. Or Chavistas. Nope. What no one dares to say is that “el pueblo” is largely complicit on the whole enchilada. Or they would have knocked of this bunch of chavista crooks long ago.

    • Dean A Nash Says:

      “You get the government that you deserve.” Venezuelans deserve Chavismo. Not all of them, of course, but a significant percentage, and this is the natural consequence.

  6. Ira Says:

    I appreciate Miguel’s optimism. I really do.

    But part of me feels that HE feels obligated to present some “good” news now and then, so as not to be considered a totally Negative Nancy. (You have to be old, boys and girls, to understand that reference.)

    But how can 9 ships a day have any effect on the needs of 30 million Venezelonos?

    Every day, I am amazed at my wife’s briefings of phone calls, texts and emails she gets from friends and family in the Mother Country about things they can’t find. Or can’t afford, if they find it on the BM.

    I mean, come on:

    Fucking diapers and aspirin?

    I think The Flinstones had better access to the necessities of life than 2016 Venezuela.

    • Ira Says:

      I misspelled Venezolanos!

      Damn the no edit feature here!

    • moctavio Says:

      Going from 2 to 9 is significant, cargo ships with flour carry a lot of flour.

      • Ira Says:

        Except VZ ports are only one stop for these ships. ITN shipping out of the states makes VZ just one stop out of maybe 7 to 10 stops.

        One ship pulling in might represent 10% of its total cargo headed elsewhere. And knowing the New Venezuela, probably less.

        It’s simply not enough to count the boats without knowing exactly what they’re delivering.

        • moctavio Says:

          I would have to do thos as a full time job. Grain boats typcally unload everything though. But in any case, I can assure you that more boats is better than none and we have been running more for over ten days, there are eight today. Last year was 15 per day, which is what the port can handle.

  7. Roger Says:

    According to the site they expect nine ship arrivals in the next 7 days. That number could be higher as they are reading the trip data of that leg of their voyage. Not big numbers considering that most are probably not unloading a full cargo. The good news is that some of these are bulkers which is how corn and grain come in and what most Venezuelans are living on.

    • M Rubio Says:

      Grain corn has all but disappeared from the marketplace. Three weeks ago I was selling it at 180 bs per kilo. I’m not offering any for sale at this time. A guy who stopped by the bodega today told me the last corn he saw was offered at 500 bs per kilo. That source no longer has any to offer. Earliest harvest will likely be in mid November. If this government is not busy importing corn, it’ll be really ugly in a month or two.

  8. TV Says:

    The three countries are probably Ecuador, Colombia (where the food gets consumed eventually) and Confusion (the natural state of any Chavista).

  9. Dean A Nash Says:

    That food isn’t going to make it to any regular markets. It will turn up, however, on black markets. This is just economics 101 and basic human nature (i.e. greed).

  10. moctavio Says:

    Well, oil is up 80% from its lows, that can really help

  11. Dave Barnes Says:

    Where is the money coming from to buy these goods?

    • knoxens Says:

      Maybe from the sale of gold. Venezuelan reserve shipped tons of it’s reserves to Switzerland. Looks like a last ditch effort to postpone imminent implosion…

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