Jamaica’s Imports Rose 11.8% While Exports Fell 2.6%

October 23, 2019

During the period January to July 2019 the Jamaica’s imports amounted US$3,833.9 million increasing by 11.8% relative to US$3,429.8 million for the corresponding period in 2018 based on data released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). Revenue from total exports totalled US$1,007.8 million for the period under review, a decline of 2.6% when compared to the US$1,035.2 million earned in the similar period in 2018.

STATIN highlighted, “Expenditure on imports from the United States of America (USA) – Jamaica’s main trading partner – was valued at US$1,785.7 million. This is 14.5% above the US$1,559.1 million recorded for January to July 2019. Earnings from total exports to the USA amounted to US$367.4 million, an increase of 7.3%.”


The increase in imports was attributed to “Machinery and Transport Equip”, “Mineral Fuels Etcetera” and “Food” as these were the main commodity groups responsible for the increase in spending.”

STATIN highlighted, “Higher imports of ‘Road Vehicles’ and ‘Electrical Machinery, Apparatus and Appliances, n.e.s., etc’ and ‘Other Transport Equipment’ were primarily responsible for the 17.1% increase in the expenditure on “Machinery & Transport Equip” which was valued at US893.7 million. “Mineral Fuels, Etcetera” were valued at US$1,050.5 million, when compared to the US$937.3 million spent for the same period in 2018. Partly refined petroleum, including Topped Crudes and Ultra-low Sulphur Diesel oil were the main contributors to the increase.”

Imports of ‘Food’ totalled US$597.5 million, 17.1% more than the US$510.4 million recorded for the same period of 2018. The movement according to STATIN was traced to, “higher imports of ‘Dairy Products and Birds’ Eggs’, ‘Miscellaneous Edible Products and Preparations’ and ‘Meat and Meat Preparations’.”

Traditional Domestic Exports

Traditional Domestic Exports for the review period were valued at US$611.6 million, approximately of 6.4% below last year’s US$653.3 million. STATIN noted, “Traditional domestic exports accounted for 62.8% of total domestic exports.”  Notably, Non-Traditional Domestic Exports over the period January to July 2019  earned US$361.6 million,  4.9% above last year’s corresponding period. The commodity groups were “Food”, “Beverages & Tobacco” and “Other” Non-Traditional Domestic Exports were responsible for the overall increase in receipts.


The imports from CARICOM amounted to US$178.7 million for January to July 2019, a 38.3 drop relative to the corresponding period last year.

STATIN noted, “The major commodity group that contributed to this decline were “Mineral Fuels, etcetera” and “Chemicals”. Imports of “Mineral Fuels, etcetera” was valued at US$33.7 million while “Chemicals” was valued at US$13.2 million. Imports of “Food”, however, increased by 6.0% and were valued at US$84.0 million.”

Total exports to CARICOM earned US$50.8 million in the current review period, an increase of 10.4% or US$46.0 million when compared to last year. Furthermore, domestic exports was valued at US$43.2 million, an uptick of 11.7% relative to the US$38.7 million booked in the 2018 period. “The major commodity group responsible for the increase was “Food”. Exports of “Food” were valued at US$19.8 million, an increase of 5.0% when compared to the US$18.8 million earned for the January to July 2018.”

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