Jamaica’s Imports Rose 3.9% While Exports Fell 15.6%

February 24, 2020

During the period January to November 2019 the Jamaica’s imports amounted US$5,905.5 million increasing by 3.9% relative to US$5,682.4 million for the corresponding period in 2018 based on data released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). Revenue from total exports totalled US$1,462.1 million for the period under review, a decline of 15.6% when compared to the US$1,731.8 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 were valued at US$2,669.5 million. This is 5.2 per cent above the US$2,537.4 million recorded in the period January to November 2018. Earnings from total exports to the USA amounted to US$553.2 million, an increase of 2.0 per cent when compared to the US$542.6 million earned during January – November 2018.”


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

Higher imports of ‘Cereal and Cereal Preparations’, ‘Miscellaneous Edible Products and Preparations’ and ‘Dairy Products and Birds Eggs’ were primarily responsible for the 13.1% increase in the imports of “Food” which was valued at US$942.0 million for the period versus the US$832.5 million booked in the corresponding period last year. “Machinery & Transport Equip.” increased 5.7% to US$1,365.9 million  which was attributable to imports of ‘Road Vehicles’ and ‘Electrical Machinery, Apparatus and Appliances, n.e.s, etc’. Imports of “Misc. Manufactured Articles” amounted to US$527.4 million (2018: $US $477.7 million), a 10.4% increase year over year. This increase was attributable to “ higher imports of packaging materials for industry and ‘Prefabricated Buildings other than of Wood, Aluminium or Steel,” according to STATIN. Furthermore, STATIN noted, “Expenditure on imports of “Mineral Fuels, Etcetera” were valued at US$1,572.3 million, an increase of 2.5 per cent above the US$1,534.0 million spent in 2018.” The movement was traced to higher imports in Crude Oil, Liquefied Natural Gas and Ultra-low Sulphur Diesel Oil.

Traditional Domestic Exports

Traditional Domestic Exports for the review period were valued at US$843.1 million, approximately of 25.0% below last year’s US$1,123.8 million. STATIN noted, “Traditional domestic exports accounted for 59.6 % of total domestic exports.”

Non–Traditional Domestic Exports

Notably, Non-Traditional Domestic Exports over the period January to November 2019 earned US$570.7 million, 2.8% above the last corresponding period’s US$555.3 million.


The imports from CARICOM amounted to US $278.8 million for January to November 2019, a 38.3% drop relative to  US$452.0 million  reported the corresponding period last year. STATIN noted, “The major commodity group that contributed to this decline were imports of “Mineral Fuels, etcetera” and “Chemicals”. “Mineral Fuels, etcetera” was valued at US$43.0 million, while ‘Chemicals’ was valued at US$22.3 million. Imports of ‘‘Food’’ however increased by 3.8 per cent and were valued at US$135.4 million.”

Total exports to CARICOM earned US$87.3 million in the current review period, an increase of 18.1% from the US$73.9 million earned last year. Furthermore, domestic exports was valued at US$75.8 million, an uptick of 21.4% relative to the US$62.4 million booked in the 2018 period. However, exports of “Food” amounted to US$30.3 million compared to US$28.8 million earned for January to November 2018, an increase of 4.9%.

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