Venezuela: Venezuelan coal exports rise as U.S. escalates oil sanctions

Venezuela is ramping up its production and export of coal to European nations, according to export figures and vessel tracking data, as it seeks new sources of foreign currency amid tightening U.S. sanctions aimed at topping President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela’s coal exports tripled to 310,000 tonnes last year, generating nearly $40 million, after Washington imposed sanctions in January 2019 on state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), according to figures from the U.N. trade database Comtrade.

This year, exports are on track to exceed that, with shipments of 365,000 tonnes through June generating $37 million, according to the data.

The rising exports show how the OPEC nation has found new sources of overseas earnings following U.S. sanctions on its vital oil and gold industries in the past two years, adapting to restrictions as they arise.

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