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SIB Stats show Exports down for 2018

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Merchandise exports for 2018 totalled $398.7 million, down 10.5 percent or $46.9 million from total exports of 2017, which amounted to $445.6 million.  A significant decrease in earnings from sugar, attributable to diminished prices for that commodity on the European market, was the primary contributor to the decline in total domestic exports. Revenues from sugar plunged by 23.8 percent or more than $35 million, from just above $148 million in 2017 to $112.8 million in 2018, although there was virtually no change in exported volumes of that product between the two years. In addition, citrus products and bananas both suffered export losses in 2018. Earnings from citrus exports fell by 8.4 percent, or $6.8 million, from $80.5 million in 2017 to $73.7 million in 2018, due largely to decreased sales of orange oil and orange concentrate, while banana exports declined slightly by 3.3 percent or $2.7 million, from $81.8 million to $79.1 million.  In spite of the downturn in total domestic exports, however, marine products and crude petroleum each emerged with increased export earnings for the year. Revenues from marine products rose by 5.8 percent, from a little over $40 million in 2017 to $42.4 million in 2018, as improved prices for both conch and lobster tails positively impacted this category. Crude petroleum also benefited from favourable world market prices during the year and, notwithstanding a 25.2 percent drop in exported volumes of that commodity, earnings rose by 8.4 percent or $1.9 million, from $22.7 million in 2017 to $24.6 million in 2018.

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