Jamaica’s trade deficit improves

Jamaica’s trade deficit improvement experienced a recovery in the year to November 2013 as both imports, which fell by US$392 million and exports, down by US$112 million, resulted in the deficit falling by 6.2 percent or US$289 million when compared to the similar period in 2012.

Overall, imports for the 11 month period in 2013 was US$5,664 million, down from US$6,056 million for the same period in 2012 and exports of US$1,442 million, resulted in a trade deficit of US$4,221 million as reported by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

Imports | Freezone activity accounted for US$295 million in imports, compared to US$352 million in the corresponding 2012 period. The category of Mineral Fuels, which accounts for 35 percent of the country’s import bill, fell by US$229 million to US$1,984 million compared to the same period of 2012. Machinery and Transport Equipment fell by US$20 million to US$831 million. Chemicals imports was valued at US$741 million, a decrease of US$80 million. Manufactured Goods fell by US$41 million or 7.1 percent to US$544 million. Spending on Food, however, rose by US$12 million to US$888 million as a result of the sharp rise in the price of basic commodities.

Traditional Exports | For the period of January to November 2013, the country earned US$724 million from traditional domestic exports which fell by 2.9 percent or US$22 million versus 2012 period largely due to the decline in Manufacturing exports. Non-traditional domestic exports fell by US$104 million or 13.9 percent to US$643 million compared with the first eleven months of 2012.

Trade with USA improves | The value of imports from the United States of America, a major trading partner, fell by US$145 million or 7 percent to US$1,940 million to November 2013 compared to the similar period in 2012. Merchandise exports sold to the USA fell by US$19 million to US$711 million resulting in the trade deficit of US$1,229 million, down from US$1,355 million for the similar 2012 period, a decline of US$126.5 million.

Trade with CARICOM worsens | Goods imported by Jamaica from the CARICOM region from January to November 2013 grew by US$4.5 million to US$822 million, due largely to increased expenditure on “Food” which increased by US$13 million to US$151 million. Total exports fell by 20 percent or US$15 million to US$63 million.

Related posts | USA trade deficit worsens, Caricom improves | Big drop in trade deficit