Jamaica’s Imports Rose 4.7% While Exports Fell 12%

January 27, 2020

During the period January to October 2019 the Jamaica’s imports amounted US$5,351.5 million increasing by 4.7% relative to US$5,111.50 million for the corresponding period in 2018 based on data released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). Revenue from total exports totalled US$1,369.3 million for the period under review, a decline of 12% when compared to the US$1,556.5 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$2,478.8 million. This is 8.1 per cent above the US$2,293.4 million recorded in the period January to October 2018. Earnings from total exports to the USA amounted to US$510.5 million, an increase of 4.2 per cent when compared to the US$489.9 million earned during January – October 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 ‘Dairy Products and Birds Eggs’, ‘Miscellaneous Edible Products and Preparations’ and ‘Cereal and Cereal Preparations’ were primarily responsible for the 14.1% increase in the imports of “Food” which was valued US$746.4 million. “Machinery & Transport Equip.”  was valued at US$1,245.1 million, when compared to the US$1,148.8 million spent for the same period in 2018. Higher imports of ‘Road Vehicles’ and ‘Electrical Machinery, Apparatus and Appliances, n.e.s, etc’ were the main contributors to the increase. Furthermore, STATIN noted, “Expenditure on imports of “Mineral Fuels, Etcetera” were valued at US$1,417.7 million, an increase of 1.6 per cent above the US$1,395.0 million spent in 2018.” The movement, according to STATIN, was traced to 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$804.4 million, approximately of 20.6% below last year’s US$1,012.8 million. STATIN noted, “Traditional domestic exports accounted for 60.7 % of total domestic exports.”

Non–Traditional Domestic Exports

Notably, Non-Traditional Domestic Exports over the period January to October 2019  earned US$519.8 million,  4.9% above the last corresponding period’s US$495.4 million.


The imports from CARICOM amounted to US $250.3 million for January to October 2019, a 41.2% drop relative to  US$425.50 million  reported the corresponding period last year. STATIN noted, “The major commodity group that contributed to this decline were imports of “Mineral Fuels, etcetera”. “Mineral Fuels, etcetera” was valued at US$37.8 million, 83.2 per cent below US$225.5 million in January to October 2018.”

Total exports to CARICOM earned US$79.7 million in the current review period, an increase of 22.8%  from the US$64.9 million earned last year. Furthermore, domestic exports was valued at US$69.2 million, an uptick of 26.1% relative to the US$54.9 million booked in the 2018 period. Moreover, the “Mineral Fuels, etcetera” exports gained US$11.0 million during January to October 2018. Exports of “Food” amounted to US$27.3 million relative to US$26.4 million earned for January to October 2018.

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