Exports from the country nearly doubled in the second quarter of 2019, reflecting the highest value of exports in the past year, according to the Department of Statistics’ Foreign Trade Statistics Quarterly Report.
Exports, driven primarily by an increase in machinery and transport equipment exiting the country, grew by 40 percent compared to the same period last year, settling at $235 million.
“The categories that contributed the largest proportion to the exports were ‘machinery and transport equipment’ which totaled $126 million of the total exports, representing 54 percent; ‘chemicals’ which totaled $37 million of total exports, representing 16 percent and ‘food and live animals’ which totaled $26 million, representing 11 percent of total exports,” the report notes.
“Categories that showed a decrease when compared to the same period last year are ‘miscellaneous manufactured articles’, ‘beverages and tobacco’ and ‘chemicals’, which declined by 51 percent, 30 percent and 15 percent, respectively.”
On the other hand, fewer items are being imported into the country, according to the second-quarter data collected from the Customs Department and forwarded to the Department of Statistics.
The value of commodities imported into The Bahamas increased by less than a percent compared to the same period last year, settling at a value of $982 million.
“The major groups of merchandise, were ‘machinery and transport equipment’ which totaled $207 million, ‘manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials’ at $175 million and ‘mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials’ which totaled $170 million. The combined value of these categories represented 56 percent of total imports,” the report notes.
“Other categories that contributed to the total imports were ‘food and live animals’ which accounted for $144 million, ‘miscellaneous manufactured articles’ valued at 127 million and ‘chemicals’, at $64 million (these groups together represent 34 percent of total imports). However, ‘chemicals’ and ‘miscellaneous manufactured articles’ showed a decline of 31 percent and 30 percent respectively when compared to the same quarter last year.”
This nominal increase comes after a notable decline in imports during the first quarter of 2019, which saw a 17 percent decrease compared to the first quarter of 2018.
Still, imports in the second quarter of 2019 are higher than those in the second quarter of 2018, which stood at $980.9 million.
Last year, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest heralded the increase in commodities imported into the country, indicating that it was indicative of an economic rebound.