Growing trade deficits in Statia, Saba and Bonaire

Trade deficits in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in, from top to bottom: 2017, 2016 and 2015. (CBS graphic)


SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS–In 2017, the trade deficits of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba were higher than in the previous year. In relative terms, Statia saw the sharpest increase in annual deficit, Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) reported on the basis of new figures.

The Caribbean Netherlands has a structural trade deficit, with imports exceeding exports. Production is relatively low on the islands in comparison with the European part of the Netherlands, CBS said.

In 2017, Statia’s trade deficit amounted to US $52 million, which is 50 per cent more than in 2016. Imports of goods increased by 50 per cent to US $55 million, while exports increased by 58 per cent to US $2.5 million relative to 2016. The value of imports was at its highest in the last quarter of 2017, namely at US $15 million.

On Saba, imports were up, and exports were down in value in 2016. The island’s annual trade deficit in 2017 stood at US $17 million, which is an increase of seven per cent. The highest import value on Saba was recorded in the second quarter of the year.

Bonaire’s trade deficit amounted to US $202 million in 2017, which is a five per cent increase on the previous year. Both imports and exports increased.

In the last three months of 2017, Bonaire imported goods with a total value of US $60 million, representing the highest quarterly value of 2017 and the highest import value since measurements started in 2011, CBS said.

Over the whole year, Bonaire imported US $213 million in goods, which is six per cent more than in 2016. Import values were higher in virtually all product sections. The sharpest increase was seen in machinery and transport equipment and in mineral fuels. Only the import value of manufactured goods and chemical products was lower.

In 2017, Bonaire’s exports grew by 25 per cent to US $11 million. The export value of raw materials increased most notably to US $3.5 million. In 2016, higher export values were mainly observed in the salt trade.

Source: The Daily Herald