Business

CARACAS – Venezuela on Friday started publishing its oil prices in Chinese yuan instead of dollars. The move, apparently, has been started to counter US sanctions.

The weekly Oil Ministry bulletin published its prices for September in yuan rather than the US dollar. The price-per-barrel posted on Friday was 306.26 yuan, or $46.76 on the more commonly-used exchange rate, up from last week’s price of 300.91 yuan, or $46.15.

The country published the price of its oil and fuel in Chinese currency in what it called an effort to free the socialist-run country from the “tyranny of the dollar,” echoing a plan recently announced by President Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro last week said his government would shun the dollar after the United States announced sanctions that blocked certain financial dealings with Venezuela on accusations that the ruling Socialist Party is undermining democracy.

The global oil industry overwhelmingly uses the dollar for pricing of products.

Venezuela’s yuan-based prices appear to be the result of multiplying dollar prices by the dollar/yuan exchange rate.

The ministry did not respond to an email seeking additional details.

Venezuela’s Dicom currency system on Wednesday temporarily suspended the sale of dollars in order to incorporate other currencies.

Late socialist leader Hugo Chavez during his 14-year rule repeatedly vowed to back away from the dollar, which he said was being printed indiscriminately and was destined to lose its place as the world’s dominant currency.