Venezuela, the country with the largest oil reserves in the world, began on Friday to report its crude oil prices in the Chinese Yuan, bucking the oil market norm of pricing in the U.S dollar.
“This format is the result of the announcement made on September 7th by the President (Nicolas Maduro)... that Venezuela will implement new strategies to free the country from the tyranny of the dollar,” the Venezuelan Oil Ministry said in a statement after the price bulletin was posted.
The decision to operate with Chinese currency was announced last week as a way for the country to overcome the negative impact of financial sanctions imposed by the United State government of President Donald Trump against Venezuela. The U.S. has claimed its sanctions are intended to “deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing.”
Vzla responde geopolíticamente a las sanciones gringas cotizando su crudo en yuanes. Acelera el cambio de alineación financiera de la región— William Serafino (@williamserafino) September 15, 2017
“The market is dominated by transactions with the U.S: dollar, and we must develop other ways to conduct international transactions,” the Finance Minister, Ramon Lobo said to VTV last weekend.
Venezuelan government officials have said that under the regime of the new sanctions, servicing debts and import payments on goods has become significantly more difficult, as U.S. banks are refusing to receive public funds. This has also affected the state oil company, PDVSA's ability to sell crude on the market.
The price per barrel posted on Friday was 306.26 yuan, which exchanges to US$46.76 according to the bulletin. Last week's price was 300.91 yuan, or US$46.15 yuan.