Friday, July 4, 2014

The Bahamas’ numbers on foreign trade are dismal

Annual Report Reveals Dip In Trade Numbers

Jones Bahamas:

The Department of Statistics has released the 2013 Annual Foreign Trade Statistics report and according to the numbers released, the country’s numbers on foreign trade are dismal.

The report that presents data on the volume and nature of trade between The Bahamas and its trading partners estimated that during the year 2013 the value of commodities imported into The Bahamas totaled nearly $3.4 billion resulting in an eight percent decrease below the 2012 total of $3.6 billion.

“The largest contributor to imports which totaled some $726 million was mineral fuels accounting for 21.6 per cent of the imports,” the report noted.

“This category was followed closely by machinery and transport equipment which accounted for nearly 20 per cent or $657 million. Other categories that contributed significantly to total imports were manufactured goods that included wood, metal, steel or other construction materials, textiles and articles of clothing. This category accounted for 13.7 per cent or $460 million.”

In terms of exports the largest contributor to this sector consisted mainly of chemicals that include polystyrene and other plastic materials which accounted for 67.3 per cent of total domestic exports.

This category was closely followed by food and live animals which accounted for 25.2 per cent and included in this category are crawfish, rum and salt.

“More significantly though, of these two categories, three commodities combined, expansible polystyrene valued at $174.7 million, other compounds containing a quinoline or isoquinolinering’ at $61.6 million and spiny lobster tail frozen at $84.4 million accounted for some 88 per cent of total domestic exports,” it added. “Other exports included, mineral fuels at $237.8 million and machinery and transport equipment $95.9 million.”

Countries that The Bahamas trades with virtually remained the same with The United States maintaining its position as The Bahamas’ number one partner.

Even though The Bahamas did a significant amount of trade with Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan and Canada, the US still represented 81.8 per cent of total imports and about 83.6 per cent of total exports.

Oil products imported from Trinidad and Tobago, valued at nearly $80 million, accounted for 90.9 per cent of total imports.

“Significantly, trade between The Bahamas and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries was minimal as the region represented only 2.6 per cent of total imports and less than one quarter of one per cent of total exports,” it continued. “Pharmaceutical products imported from Barbados were valued at $1.0 million accounted for 1.1 per cent of CARICOM imports.”

July 02, 2014

Jones Bahamas