Jamaica's imports increase, exports decrease

Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Jamaica's imports for January to April 2019 were valued at US$2,150.7 million. This is an increase of 8.8 per cent when compared to US$1,977.7 million which was spent for the similar period in 2018 according to the International Merchandise Trade (IMT) Bulletin released on Friday (July 19) by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

The April 2019 IMT Bulletin further outlined that revenue from exports amounted to US$558.7 million for the current review period, 2.1 per cent lower than the US$570.9 million earned in the similar period in 2018.

Expenditure on imports from the United States, Jamaica's main trading partner was valued at US$1,042.4 billion.

This is 23.9 per cent above the US$841.5 million recorded in the comparable 2018 period.

Earnings from total exports to the USA amounted to US$201.3 million, a decline of 0.1 per cent when compared to US$201.5 million earned during January - April 2018.

IMPORTS

The major commodities that contributed to the increase in imports were mineral fuels, machinery and transport equipment, and food. Expenditure on imports of mineral fuels was valued at US$614.0 million, an increase of 15.8 per cent.

Partly refined petroleum including topped crudes and ultra-low-sulphur diesel oil were the main contributors.

Machinery and transport equipment were valued at US$507.0 million, an increase of 12.1 per cent.

This increase was due primarily to higher imports of road vehicles and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances.

Imports of food were valued at US$337.2 million or 9.2 per cent above the US$308.8 million spent in the 2018 period. The increase was due mainly to higher imports of dairy products and birds eggs, miscellaneous edible products and preparations and meat and meat preparations.

3.1 PER CENT DECREASE IN TRADITIONAL DOMESTIC EXPORTS

Earnings from Traditional Domestic Exports for April 2019 were valued at US$337.6 million, a decrease of 3.1 per cent when compared to the US$348.4 million exported in 2018.

Traditional domestic exports accounted for 62.8 per cent of total domestic exports.

0.3 PER CENT INCREASE IN NON–TRADITIONAL DOMESTIC EXPORTS

Non–Traditional Domestic Exports earned US$200.3 million, a 0.3 per cent increase above the US$199.6 million earned in the 2018 review period.

CARICOM TRADE

Jamaica's imports from CARICOM were valued at US$105.4 million representing a 35.4 per cent decline when compared to the similar period in 2018.

The major commodity group which contributed to this decline was imports of mineral fuels.

This was valued at US$26.2 million compared to the US$83.9 million recorded in January to April 2018. Total exports to CARICOM were valued at US$26.7 million, 0.4 per cent above the US$26.8 million earned in the similar 2018 period.

Re-exports declined to value US$4.3 million, moving down by 11.3 per cent, from the US$4.9 million for January to April 2018. Domestic exports earned US$22.3 million, an increase of 2.0 per cent when compared to the US$21.9 million earned in 2018. The major commodity group responsible for the increase was “Food”. Exports of “Food” were valued at US$11.1 million, an increase of 4.1 per cent when compared to the US$10.6 million earned for the January to April 2018.


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