Jamaica import bill rises by 6.5% in the first nine months of 2019


Jamaica import bill rises by 6.5% in the first nine months of 2019

Exports amount down for the same period

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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Jamaica's imports for January to September 2019 were valued at US$4,816.5 million, an increase of 6.5 per cent when compared to US$4,520.4 million which was spent for the similar period in 2018 according to the International Merchandise Trade (IMT) Bulletin released recently by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

The September 2019 IMT Bulletin further outlined that revenue from exports amounted to US$1,268.7 million for the current review period, 9.1 per cent lower than the US$1,396.0 million earned in the similar period in 2018.

Expenditure on imports from the USA — Jamaica's leading trading partner — was valued at US$2,232.6 million. This is 8.9 per cent above the US$2,049.9 million recorded in the period January to September 2018. Earnings from total exports to the USA amounted to US$460.2 million, an increase of 4.1 per cent when compared to the US$442.2 million earned during January — September 2018.


The major commodities that contributed to this increase were food, machinery and transport equipment and mineral fuels, among others. Imports of food were valued at US$762.6 million, 14.1 per cent above the US$668.6 million spent in the 2018 period. The increase was due mainly to higher imports of dairy products and bird eggs, miscellaneous edible products and preparations and, cereal and cereal preparations.

Imports of machinery and transport equipment were valued at US$1,111.8 million, an increase of 7.9 per cent when compared to the US$1,030.1 million in 2018. This increase was due primarily to higher imports of road vehicles and electrical machinery and apparatus and appliances.

Expenditure on imports of mineral fuels, among other things, in that category was valued at US$1,298.1 million, an increase of 5.5 per cent above the US$1,229.9 million spent in 2018.

Crude oil, partly refined petroleum, including topped crudes and ultra-low sulphur diesel oil were the main contributors to the increase.


Earnings from traditional domestic exports for the January to September 2019 period were valued at US$759.0 million, a decrease of 17.0 per cent when compared to the US$914.4 million exported in 2018. Traditional domestic exports accounted for 61.9 per cent of total domestic exports.


Non–traditional domestic exports earned US$467.9 million, a 7.1 per cent increase above the US$437.0 million earned in the 2018 review period.


Jamaica's imports to Caricom were valued at US$223.6 million at the end of the January to September 2019, 42.7 per cent below the US$390.4 million recorded in the comparable period. The major commodity group that contributed to this decline were imports of mineral fuels and chemical. Mineral fuels were valued at US$35.4 million, while chemicals were valued at US$17.6 million. Imports of Foods, however, increased by 5.5 per cent and were valued at US$107.4 million.

Total exports to Caricom were valued at US$67.9 million, 18.1 per cent above the US$57.5 million earned in the similar January to September 2018 period. Re-exports increased to value US$9.0 million, moving up by 3.3 per cent, from the US$8.7 million for January to September 2018.

Domestic exports earned US$58.9 million, an increase of 20.8 per cent when compared to the US$48.8 million earned in 2018. Mineral fuels earned US$7.3 million, up from US$0.4 million earned in 2018. Exports of food were valued at US$24.7 million, an increase of 5.4 per cent when compared to the US$23.4 million earned for January - September 2018.

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