Jamaica's trade deficit with Caricom widens to US$350 million

Friday, January 04, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Jamaica's trade deficit with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) increased to US$351.2 million during the period January to October last year, according to the figures released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin).

In its International Merchandise Trade (IMT) Statistical Bulletin, Statin said that the 2018 figure is up from the US$276.3 million recorded for the similar period in 2017.

Statin said total imports were valued at US$414.1 million in 2018, 20.7 per cent above the similar 2017 period, due mainly to increases in the commodity groups, namely, mineral fuels, etcetera (US$226.1 million), chemicals (US$21.9 million) and food (US$117.6 million).

It said total exports to Caricom decreased by 5.9 per cent to US$62.9 million when compared to the US$66.8 million recorded in 2017.

Earnings from domestic exports amounted to US$53.6 million, down from US$57.6 million in the 2017 period. Lower exports of food (US$26.4 million) and manufactured goods (US$2.0 million) contributed to the decrease.

Statin also reported that overall, Jamaica's trade deficit was US$3,507.6 million for the January to October 2018 period, 2.4 per cent above the US$3,424.3 million recorded for the comparable 2017 period.

The January to October 2018 IMT Bulletin further outlined that expenditure on total imports were valued at US$4,933.8 million, a nine per cent increase when compared to the US$4,524.6 million in 2017. Revenue from total exports were valued at US$1,426.3 million in the 2018 review period, an increase of 29.6 per cent when compared to the US$1,100.3 million recorded for the similar 2017 period.

Statin said expenditure on imports from the United States of America, Jamaica's main trading partner, was valued at US$2,211.0 million, a 10.8 per cent increase when compared to 2017. On the other hand, revenues from exports to the USA totalled US$472.1 million, an increase of 10.3 per cent, resulting in a 10.9 per cent increase in the trade deficit with the USA from US$1,567.5 million in 2017 to US$1,738.9 million in 2018.

Total imports for January to October 2018 were valued at US$4,933.8 million, representing a nine per cent increase when compared to the US$4,524.6 million recorded in 2017, Statin reported.

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