News and Facts about Cuba

Cuba reports wider 2015 trade deficit in goods as commodity crash bites

Cuba reports wider 2015 trade deficit in goods as commodity crash bites
By Reuters Media on May 18, 2016 at 2:47 p.m.

HAVANA – Cuba’s chronic goods trade deficit widened by $1.5 billion in
2015 as exports fell 24 percent and imports rose 3 percent, the
government said on Wednesday, in the first data showing a commodity
crash has hurt the .

The information, released on the National Statistics Office web page
( did not cover Cuba’s large service exports.

Prices for key Cuban exports such as sugar, nickel and refined oil
products all tumbled last year.

The Communist-run country began cutting back on its 2016 import orders
last year and has been slow in making some payments to creditors and
suppliers. Cuba orders much of its imports a year in advance.

Cuban told a year-end session of the National
Assembly in December that economic growth would slow from 4 percent in
2015 to 2 percent in 2016 due to falling export revenues.

Cuba’s trade deficit in goods has traditionally been compensated by the
export of medical and other professionals, and
telecommunications, amounting to $12.7 billion in 2014, the latest
figure available.

The report said goods exports were valued at $3.9 billion, compared with
$5.1 billion in 2014, and imports were $13.5 billion, compared with
$13.1 billion the previous year.

While no statistics are available, revenues from the sale of
professional services to oil producing nations such as and
Angola, are also thought to have suffered.

Castro said in December that lower oil prices had reduced the cost of a
number of imports such as but also hurt “mutually advantageous
cooperation relations with various (oil-producing) countries, in
particular the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

The collapse of oil prices punishes Cuba under the terms of its oil deal
with Venezuela. Cuba receives 90,000 barrels of oil per day as part of
an exchange that sends Cuban professionals to Venezuela. Some 30,000
doctors and nurses, plus another 10,000 professionals, are posted in

Cuba also receives cash for the workers. Economists and oil market
experts believe the amount is tied to oil prices, meaning Venezuela
would pay less to Cuba when prices are down.

Cuba refines and resells some of the oil in a joint venture with its
socialist ally. Prices for refined products were down in tandem with
crude. The new trade date did not give a breakdown of the value of oil
products or other exports.

Source: Cuba reports wider 2015 trade deficit in goods as commodity
crash bites | Agweek –

4 Responses to Cuba reports wider 2015 trade deficit in goods as commodity crash bites

  • The trade deficit will be greatly reduced when Cuba is able to sell products such as cigars and rum to the USA…..the wealthiest country in the world has been denied buying the best cigars and rum for 50+ years.

    • Cuba is already selling all of its rum and cigars and is unable to expand production. It can tru to raise prices but would see demand fall. Take a course in economics.

      • Of course Cuba can increase production of both these items as US demand kicks in. It will not be instantaneous, but it will happen. Prices will probably rise for a time as US consumers get used to the best again, after 50+ years of a form of Prohibition, but there will be no shortage of investors who will pour money into the country to expand production.

        • No. Both tobacco and sugar harvest have been consistently bad.
          In sugar even the Brazilian investors failed to raise production.
          Deal with reality.

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