Austerity does not land on government bills. The import of petroleum products continues to rise, despite the announcements to reduce state expenditures. So far in2018, the Lenín Moreno administration has disbursed some 1,004 million dollars more than in the same period of 2017, due to the purchase of fuels.
This,despite the fact that according to the previous government, until the beginning of 2016, the Esmeraldas Refinery was re-allocated for 2,200 million dollars.
The latest statistical report from the public company Petroecuador highlights that between January and October of this year 44 million barrels of derivatives were imported, such as diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). In dollars, the purchase amounted to 3,571 million dollars.
In the same period last year, the acquisition totaled 2,567 million dollars for40.9 million barrels
The increase of more than 1,000 million dollars responds, to a large extent, to the fact that Ecuadorian refiners do not go through their best moment. The Esmeraldas Refinery, for example, had several work stoppages in different units. EXPRESO published yesterday that one of those paras reduced the national production of LPG. That fuel is for domestic use.
Besides Esmeraldas, Ecuador has the refineries of Shushufindi and La Libertad. Both,which process some 65,000 barrels of crude daily, were paralyzed this year.
Whe nasked about the matter, Petroecuador responded that the information is not yet definitive and that it could vary when the year ends and official results are obtained. That is, the amount spent could change, even upwards.
The data is alarming because part of these derivatives are marketed in the country, but with a subsidy from the State. The gas for domestic use, for example, will cost an additional 629 million dollars to the Government for the subsidy for the product.
Another drawback is that, according to the same statistical report of the oil company,local consumption of derivatives, such as gasoline and domestic gas, continues to increase. The average Ecuadorian buys more fuel and the Government has no alternative but to import to satisfy the demand.
With the increase of more than 1,004 million dollars, the budget cuts made by Petroecuador look smaller. In the first ten months of the year, 629 million dollars were spent in current and investment amounts. In 2017, total account stotaled 704 million dollars. A reduction of 10.5%.
The list of employees of the public oil company has decreased by less than 1%during the Government of President Lenin Moreno.
Ecuador exported close to 800 million dollars for derivatives that it produces locally.It also traded crude with an average price of $ 63. (I)