QUITO – Ecuador sent Venezuela an initial shipment of crude palm oil under a new trade currency regime known as the Unified System for Regional Compensation, or Sucre, the Ecuadorian government said.
Ecuador’s state-run National Development Bank, or BNF, said Tuesday the shipment carrying 5,000 metric tons of crude palm oil – part of a bi-monthly export agreement between firms in both countries – left for Venezuela on Dec. 31.
The oil is used as a raw material for the food industry.
The medium of exchange was the Sucre, a virtual currency adopted by the ALBA bloc, whose members are Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
ALBA was conceived of by leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as an alternative to the now-defunct U.S. plan for the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
The transaction was executed via the countries’ central banks at a rate of $1.25 per Sucre, the BNF said, adding that it corrects distortions that multinational companies have generated in the palm oil refining chain, “which traditionally has exploited and undervalued the work of Ecuadorian producers.”
Dincodex S.A., in partnership with several other Ecuadorian companies, exported the crude palm oil to Venezuelan state-owned firm Industrias Diana, which will refine the raw material, the bank said. EFE