The Board of Directors of Banco de la República unanimously maintained its intervention interest rate at 1.75%. The Board estimated that an intervention rate of 1.75% maintains an expansionary monetary policy that supports the recovery of the Colombian economy. The inflation rate remians controlled, with 1.97% in september, and forecasts at the end of 2021 stand at 2.8%, while the two-year expectations obtained from the debt papers stand at 2.52%. The relaxation of isolation measures, fiscal support for households and companies, lower interest rates and the ample liquidity provided by the Banco de la República, are facilitating the conditions for the recovery of economic activity, stated the bank.
Colombia's oil production fell 14.8% year-on-year in September to 749,255 barrels per day (bpd), the Ministry of Mines and Energy reported. In September 2019, production was 879,497 bpd. Average crude oil production between January and September reached 789,322 barrels per day, a drop of 11.1% compared to the same period in 2019, when it stood at 888,233 bpd. When comparted with the 742,091 pumped during last August, there was an increase of 0.96%.
Government reports show that external sales for september reached $ 2,531 million, a reduction of 17.5% compared to the same month in 2019. This decrease was explained by the 42.4% drop in sales of fuels and products of the extractive industries. Manufacturing exports sales dropped 9,9%, were the manufactures that were located in US $ 653.1 million. From January to September, the country's exports were $ 22,843.4 million, a decrease of 23.6%, compared to the same period of 2019. Agricultural products, food and beverages had external sales of $ 637.3 million, a growth of 22.2% compared to last year, mainly driven by increase in exports of unroasted coffee and coffee husks.
Colombian energy provider Celsia´s new $ 103.3 million power generation plant will produce 80 MW, a consumption equivalent for 100,000 peasant families and will created more than 300 direct jobs. This clean and reliable energy will prevent the emission of two million tons of Co2 in 30 years, which is equivalent to reforesting more than 200,000 hectares of forest.
According to a recent report by the National Department of Statistics (Dane), employment in Colombia continues on its path of recovery. The unemployment rate, which in August stood at 16.8 percent, fell last month to 15.8 percent; however, it shows 5.6 percentage points more than in September of last year (without pandemic), when unemployment was estimated at 10.2 percent. Dane said there were 3.8 million unemployed in September (1.25 million more than in September 2019) and 20.2 million employed people (2 million less than in the same month of the year past). The unemployment rate for women in September was 20.7 percent, while for men was 12.3 percent.
Two Canadian oil companies presented offers for four blocks for oil and gas exploration activities in continental Colombia, in the most recent auction, the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) reported. CNE Oil & Gas, a subsidiary of Canacol Energy Ltd, and Parex Resources Ltd's Colombian unit each submitted two bids at the auction. Parex Resources bid for blocks LLA 134 and VIM 43, while CNE Oil & Gas bid for VIM 44 and VMM 47. The four offers have an approximate value of 40 million dollars, reported the ANH.