Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that Bonaire’s trade deficit grew by nearly one-quarter in 2015. Imports increased, while exports fell below the 2014 level. The trade deficits on Saba and St Eustatius also increased.
Since the start of the survey in 2010 the trade balance on Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba has been negative. Compared to the rest of the Netherlands, production is relatively low on these islands. The Caribbean Netherlands has therefore developed a fairly large structural trade deficit.
Bonaire’s deficit grew by 23 percent to 184.5 million US dollars in 2015, partly due to a rise in imported goods by 18 percent to 194 million US dollars. The value of exported goods, on the other hand, fell by nearly one-third relative to 2014, to 9.5 million US dollars.
On St Eustatius, too, the value of imports increased (+16 percent) in 2015 and the value of exports decreased (-2 percent) relative to 2014. The trade deficit grew by 17 percent to 40 million US dollars. Saba’s trade deficit amounted to 22 million US dollars by the end of last year, i.e. 15 percent up from 2014. The value of imports and exports increased.
Bonaire: more machinery, vehicles, fuels and manufactured goods imported
The value of goods imports on Bonaire grew to 194 million US dollars. Compared to 2014, imports exceeded exports in all quarters of 2015. The value of goods imported in Q4 2015 was 53 million US dollars, the highest quarterly import value ever measured by Statistics Netherlands for Bonaire.
Bonaire imported machinery and vehicles worth 47 million US dollars last year, a 22 percent increase relative to 2014. The value of exports of machinery and transport equipment was 2.5 million US dollars, nearly half the value recorded in 2014. The goods trade deficit rose by nearly 11 million US dollars. Imports of fuels and manufactured goods also rose, by more than 10 and 8 million US dollars respectively.