Imports plunge during lockdown

| 01/10/2020 | 28 Comments
Cayman News Service
Port Authority staff member during lockdown

(CNS): The total value of imports slumped by more than 32% during the second quarter of this year when Cayman was under the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Despite the online shopping sprees during the stay-home order, buoyed by the pension payout during the last month of the quarter, all imports fell. Fuel imports declined in quantity as well as value by almost 60%.

According to the quarterly trade bulletin from the Economics and Statistics Office, everything we import, from alcohol to watches, declined, reflecting the slump in economic activity that will create a hole in government finances as a result of the coronavirus health crisis.

The value of goods imported for the second quarter of 2020 totalled $186 million compared to the same period last year, when we imported over $275 million worth of goods.

The only import category that did not slump during the lockdown was “commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere”, which the ESO said was as a result of a significant increase in imports of non-monetary gold by $33.8 million.

The office has also published its report on 2019. The ESO said that a solid economic performances resulted in strong growth in 2019, with the estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rising by 3.2%, the second highest growth rate in recent times.

The central government recorded an overall fiscal surplus of $102.1 million, as revenue collection improved to $860 million, allowing government to reduce its outstanding debt from $418.7 million as at end 2018 to $284.4 million as at end 2019.

The solid position has, however, been undermined by the turn of fortunes as a result of the pandemic.

See the full Cayman Islands’ Quarterly Trade Statistics Bulletin and 2019 Economic Report on the ESO website


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Category: Economy, Politics

Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We often find ourselves in a state of retail paralysis as we try to navigate the optimal premium-hassle-ripoff landscape of Cayman vs. importing and DIY. Without any rationale appetite for normal consumer interests, there’s no mechanism to check the widespread extortionists and predators. It becomes an expensive game of trial and error where the consumer almost always loses. Part of the tax of living in the Wild West.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bars, coins, etc.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So more individuals importing more ‘small’ stuff means more work but less value/revenue to add insult to injury as-it-were.

  4. Auric Goldfinger says:

    You’d think with 5,000 plus item codes in their hugely complicated system, the ESO could be a little more specific than “non-monetary gold”.

    Who is importing gold in such amounts and why?

    • Anonymous says:

      Allow me. There are many savvy folk in Cayman who thrive on being able to judge the financial signs.
      They are under the impression that a tangible real asset with value will preserve them through an imminent dollar/fiat currency crash.
      These folk are clever and are trying to hedge against inflation.
      I can tell you where the gold is. In the vault at SWP. I use these guys a lot and they are great.
      I am only a tiny player with a few grand spread across gold and silver.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t suppose you have been around long enough to remember Doucet’s gold bars.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am using gold ingots to build a nice little outside toilet with my pension money

    • Anonymous says:

      Pat, I’ll take “non-monetary gold” for $500…what is…money laundering?

  5. Anonymous says:

    To the Postmaster General: we have Royal Mail with tracking that has been sitting unscanned at Heathrow since February. Is mail not going on the air bridge flights?!?

  6. Anonymous says:

    and still no cut backs at the civil service….
    welcome to wonderland

  7. Anonymous says:

    And customs still can’t keep up. Not to mention the fact we pay for premium service from DHL and don’t receive our goods for a month after the date we paid for.

    Please, CNS can you find out what plan cig has to resolve this as we are being RIPPED OFF.

    • Anonymous says:

      They’re working form home. Someone has to walk around with an iPhone on Zoom so they can do the inspections.

    • Annie says:

      The entire courier issue is a disgrace. Our Government is hobbling businesses worse than Annie in Misery. On top of all of the losses we have faced from this virus, our own Government is the biggest disease. Fix this now! Get off your lazy, overpaid backsides and help small businesses! Jeez, do your job.

  8. Bye bye says:

    This is only the beginning.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Not to worry. Caymanians have a great deal of financial discipline. They were only sorta in debt when corona hit. Now they will get out of debt with a lot less coming in. Watch and see. For those who would want a UK style government over a Caymanian one have patience.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What is non-monetary gold?

  11. Anonymous says:

    What are the stats for cars from Singapore and Japan – there seem to be 1000’s on the road now.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Any ideas to save money yet, Alden?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Imports dropped by 32% but the time it takes customs to clear those imports increased 320%. Go figure

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