Jamaica's 2019 January to November imports up by 3.9%, exports down 15.6%

Jamaica's 2019 January to November imports up by 3.9%, exports down 15.6%

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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Jamaica's imports for January to November 2019 were valued at US$5,905.5 million, an increase of 3.9 per cent when compared to US$5,682.4 million which was spent for the similar period in 2018 according to the International Merchandise Trade (IMT) Bulletin.

The bulletin was released earlier this week by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

The November 2019 IMT Bulletin further outlined that revenue from exports amounted to US$1,462.1 million for the current review period, 15.6 per cent lower than the US$1,731.8 million earned in the similar period in 2018.

Expenditure on imports from the United States of America (USA) - Jamaica's leading trading partner were valued at US$2,669.5 million. This is 5.2 per cent above the US$2,537.4 million recorded in the period January to November 2018. Earnings from total exports to the USA amounted to US$553.2 million, an increase of 2.0 per cent when compared to the US$542.6 million earned during January — November 2018.


The major commodities that contributed to this increase were food, machinery, and transport equipment, miscellaneous, manufactured articles, and mineral fuels.

Imports of food were valued at US$942.0 million 13.1 per cent above the US$832.5 million spent in the 2018 period. The increase was due mainly to higher imports of cereals and cereal preparations, miscellaneous edible products and preparations and dairy products, and bird eggs.

Imports of road vehicles and electrical machinery, apparatus, and appliances were primarily responsible for the 5.7 per cent increase in machinery and transport equipment, which was valued at US$1,365.9 million.

Imports of miscellaneous manufactured articles were valued at US$527.4 million, 10.4 per cent above the US$477.7 million spent in 2018. The increase was due to higher imports of packaging materials for industry and prefabricated buildings other than wood, aluminium or steel'.

Expenditure on imports of mineral fuels and others were valued at US$1,572.3 million, an increase of 2.5 per cent above the US$1,534.0 million spent in 2018. Higher imports crude oil, liquefied natural gas, and ultra-low sulphur diesel oil were the main contributors to the increase.

25.0 per cent decrease in Traditional Domestic Exports

Earnings from traditional domestic exports for January to November 2019 were valued at US$843.1 million, a decrease of 25.0 per cent when compared to the US$1,123.8 million exported in 2018. Traditional domestic exports accounted for 59.6 per cent of total domestic exports.

2.8 per cent increase in Non–Traditional Domestic Exports

Non–traditional domestic exports earned US$570.7 million, a 2.8 per cent increase above the US$555.3 million earned in the 2018 review period.


Jamaica's imports from Caricom were valued at US$278.8 million at the end of the January to November 2019 period, 38.3 per cent below the US$452.0 million recorded in the comparable period of the previous year.

The major commodity group that contributed to this decline were imports of mineral fuels and chemicals”.

Mineral fuels were valued at US$43.0 million, while chemicals were valued at US$22.3 million. Imports of food, however, increased by 3.8 per cent and were valued at US$135.4 million.

Total exports to Caricom were valued at US$87.3 million, 18.1 per cent above the US$73.9 million earned in the similar January to November 2018 period. Re-exports were valued at US$11.5 million.

Domestic exports earned US$75.8 million, an increase of 21.4 per cent when compared to the US$62.4 million earned in 2018. Exports of food were valued at US$30.3 million, an increase of 4.9 per cent when compared to the US$28.8 million earned for January- November 2018.

The International Merchandise Trade Bulletin outlines additional information on Jamaica's international trade activities.

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