Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bolivia to export rice to Cuba

Bolivia to export rice to Cuba

Bolivia will export rice to Cuba using the new Sucre currency mechanism.

State company Empresa de Apoyo a la Producción de Alimentos (Emapa) will
sell $6 million worth of rice to Cuba and Venezuela, the Bolivian
government announced.

Bolivia and Cuba will use the Sucre compensation mechanism, which pegs
the currencies of participating ALBA nations to each other at a fixed
rate. Using the Sucre allows to circumvent the use U.S. dollars or
euros, thus reducing the cost of transactions.

During a recent cash crunch, Cuba — a major rice importer — has bought
the grain exclusively from Vietnam and China, which offer long-term
financing and low prices. Bolivia expects to export 56,000 tons of rice
this year.

Meanwhile, Cuba stopped buying rice from the United States, which had
risen earlier this decade to become the island's No. 1 food supplier.
U.S. restrictions force Cuba to pay cash in advance for U.S.
agricultural products.

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