Jamaica’s export earnings plummet as imports climb
Data from the International Trade Centre (ITC) showed that in 2020, Cariform's largestexport market was the US, with an export value of approximately US$10.583 billion,followed by the EU, valued at US$2.8 billion (Photo: AP)

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Reports indicate Jamaica’s total export earnings fell by almost 10 per cent while the import expenditure increased by over 32 per cent for January and February when compared to the corresponding period last year.

According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), the decrease represents a drop from US$230.4 million to US$208.5 million.

The decline is being attributed to a decrease in domestic exports—which accounted for 84.6 per cent of total outflows—by 11.8 per cent and a 66.6 per cent plunge in crude materials.

Despite this, Jamaica did record an increase in exports to top trading partners, the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Finland. This was attributed mainly to the export of bunker C fuel oil and turbo A1 fuel.

On the other hand, increased spending on all imported goods resulted in Jamaica’s import expenditure increasing to just over US$1 billion.

STATIN said this was a result of increased spending on all imported goods.

Imports of consumer goods—food, beverages, clothing, shoes etc— amounted to US$304.4 million, which represents a 53.7 per cent increase.

Fuels and lubricants increased to US$258.6 million when compared to the US$233.6 million spent in the same period in 2021. And, imports of raw materials saw a 46.6 per cent increase, from US$245.6 million to US$360.1 million.

Over 65 per cent, US$728.6 million, of Jamaica’s inflow was from the USA, China, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, and Japan. This indicates a 43.3 per cent increase, attributed largely to higher imports of fuel from the USA and crude oil from Colombia.

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