LA PAZ – Bolivia’s natural gas exports to Argentina and Brazil in the first quarter totaled $594.4 million, down 48.4 percent from the same period of 2015, the National Statistics Institute, or INE, said in a report published Wednesday.
Natural gas exports, which amounted to $1.2 billion in January-March 2015, are Bolivia’s No. 1 source of hard currency.
The report also noted that exports of that fossil fuel in the first quarter of last year accounted for 49.4 percent of Bolivia’s total sales abroad, while in January-March 2016 they represented 36.7 percent.
Bolivia’s total exports, which include natural gas, minerals, manufactured goods and farm and ranching products, amounted to $1.6 billion in the first three months, down 30.6 percent from the first quarter of 2015, when they totaled $2.3 billion.
President Evo Morales has repeatedly expressed concern over the decrease in the price of natural gas, but he says that due to the priority his government has placed on public investment spending there is no risk of a crisis.