JAMAICA'S earning from total exports for the first five months of the 2012 was valued at US$715.3 million, with domestic exports increasing by 1.08 per cent over the similar period last year.
President of the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA), Vitus Evans, presented the figure at Tuesday's quarterly media briefing in Kingston.
Evans said that of the US$715 million, total domestic exports accounted for US$692.7 million, and re-exports, US$22.6 million. The US$692.7 earned from total domestic exports was 1.08 per cent more than the US$684.76 million for the similar period in 2011.
Evans noted that during the period, non-traditional domestic exports grew by seven per cent to US$319 million. Of this, food exports increased by almost seven per cent, valuing US$60.3 million. This was boosted by strong performances from non-traditional food exports, such as pawpaw, which made over US$2.36 million, a 193 per cent increase over the previous year.
Earnings from juices, excluding citrus, amounted to US$3.58 million, US$1 million more than last year, while animal feed earnings grew by 40 per cent to US$3.6 million and fruits and fruit preparations increased by 74 per cent to US$3.3 million.
The JEA president theorised that new players investing in areas, such as agro-processing, have accounted for the boost in export earnings.
He stated that with the exception of manufacturing, all other traditional domestic exports reflected decreased earnings with the biggest drop seen in the mining and quarrying category.