Venezuela’s International Reserves Reach a Thirty-Year Low

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(Bloomberg) -- Venezuela’s international reserves fell $832 million between Monday and Thursday, reaching a thirty-year low of $6.63 billion on Jan. 2.

The country began the week with reserves of $7.47 billion on Dec. 30, according to central bank data. The level of $6.63 billion is the lowest since July 1989, when reserves were at $6.68 billion.

“The fall in the central bank’s international reserves is brutal,” opposition lawmaker Jose Guerra said on Twitter. “There is no way to defend the bolivar against the dollar.”

Venezuela’s central bank didn’t immediately respond to an email request for comment. The country’s finance ministry declined to comment.

Venezuela’s black market currency rate mirrored the drop in foreign reserves. The bolivar weakened to about 71,451 per dollar on Friday from 54,284 on Monday, a 31.6% depreciation, according to Monitor Dollar, which reports the average of several rates. The country’s official foreign exchange rate reached 54,442 bolivars per dollar on Friday.

Venezuela’s central bank in May sold about $570 million in monetary gold, driving down reserves to a then 29-year low of $7.9 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The bank sold about 9.7 tons of gold on May 10 and an additional 4 tons three days later.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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