There has been a notable decline in imports during the first quarter of the year, according to the most recent foreign trade data.
The total value of imports in the first quarter of 2019 was $708.9 million, a 17 percent decrease from the $850.9 million in the first quarter of 2018.
“The major groups of merchandise, were ‘food and live animal’ which totaled $132 million, ‘machinery and transport equipment’ at $129 million and ‘mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials’ which totaled $128 million. The combined value of these categories represented 55 percent of total imports,” the Foreign Trade Statistics Quarterly Report released by the Department of Statistics notes.
“Other categories that contributed to the total imports were ‘manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials’ which accounted for $101 million, ‘miscellaneous manufactured articles’ valued at 95 million and ‘chemicals’, at $57 million. These groups together represent 36 percent of total imports.”
Imports maintained high values for the majority of 2018, peaking at $980.9 million in the second quarter and settling at $800.9 million in the final quarter.
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.
But while imports are on the decline, exports increased by ten percent during the first quarter of 2019, compared to the same period the year before.
The total value of exported commodities was $121 million, according to the Department of Statistics.
“The categories that contributed the largest proportion to the exports were ‘chemicals’ which totaled $34 million of total exports, representing 28 percent; ‘machinery and transport equipment’ which totaled $24 million of total exports, representing 20 percent and ‘mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials’ that totaled $23 million, representing 18 percent of total exports,” the report states.
“Categories that showed a decrease when compared to the same period last year were ‘miscellaneous manufactured articles, ‘crude minerals, inedible except fuels’ and ‘mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials’ which declined by 55 percent ,18 percent and 16 percent respectively.”