QUITO – Measured by value, Ecuador’s oil exports rose almost 74 percent in the first half of 2010 compared to the same period last year, although that increase was due entirely to higher prices, the Central Bank said Monday.
Between January and June, the value of the country’s oil exports totaled almost $4.67 billion, up from $2.68 billion for the first six months of 2009, when international demand plunged amid the global recession.
A total of 66,763 metric tons (73,600 tons) of oil was shipped out of Ecuador in the first six months of 2010, down 0.5 percent from the same period of last year.
With higher crude-export revenue, the value of Ecuador’s oil-sector exports totaled $3.13 billion in the first half of this year, more than 74 percent higher than the value of its oil-sector imports, the Central Bank said.
Between January and June, Ecuador’s imports of fuels and lubricants were valued at more than $1.54 billion, compared with roughly $898 million in the same period of 2009.
In terms of volume, crude accounted for almost 93 percent of Ecuador’s petroleum exports in the year’s first half.
Oil is Ecuador’s main export product, and revenue from crude exports finances roughly 25 percent of the Andean nation’s public spending.
Ecuador’s leftist government wants to keep more oil profits in state hands and to that end has begun negotiations this week with private oil companies to switch their current production-sharing deals to fee-based service contracts. EFE