Cuba’s Trade Deficit Goes Sky High in 2008

Reuters: The trade deficit jumped to 65 percent during the last year due to several factors, including the three hurricanes that affected the country and the fall of their nickel exports.

Cuba’s trade deficit soared by 65 percent in 2008, driven by a doubling in the value of oil imports, higher costs of food imports and a decline in key export nickel, according to a government report released on Tuesday.

Exports totaled $4 billion, similar to 2007, while imports increased 41 percent to $15.4 billion, leaving a deficit of $11.4 billion, the National Statistics Office reported on its web page http://www.one.cu.

Oil-rich Venezuela saw exports to its socialist ally soar to $5.3 billion from $2.9 billion in 2007 as it increased oil shipments and prices peaked, making the South American country by far Cuba’s most important commercial partner.

Cuba’s arch enemy, the United States, also benefited from higher prices as food exports, allowed since 2000 under its long-standing trade embargo, hit a record $860 million, compared with $608 million in 2007.

Despite trade sanctions in place since 1962, the U.S. held its ranking as the island’s fifth-largest trading partner.

China remained Cuba’s second partner at over $2 billion, followed by Spain and Canada as in recent years.

The trade data has to do with the trading of goods and does not include key income sources such as tourism and the export of medical services, primarily to Venezuela.

Earlier this year, the statistics office said Cuban exports of services grew by 6.2 percent to more than $9 billion in 2008, consolidating their position as Cuba’s biggest source of foreign exchange.

Cuba said it received $2.4 billion from tourism and related activities in 2008.

But nickel exports to Canada, Europe and China fell to $1.5 billion from $2.2 billion in 2007.

Last year’s poor economic performance, attributable in part to three devastating hurricanes and the global financial crisis, has forced Cuba to severely cut imports this year, postpone payments to creditors and impose austerity measures such as forced reductions in power consumption.

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2 Responses to Cuba’s Trade Deficit Goes Sky High in 2008

  1. mimpiku says:

    thanks.nice info

  2. Pingback: Cuba's Trade Deficit Goes Sky High in 2008 « particularcuba cuba news | Cuba today

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