Imports reached record highs in mid-2021

| 04/02/2022 | 59 Comments
Cayman News Service
Grand Cayman cargo port

(CNS): The total value of merchandise imports grew significantly in the second quarter of 2021 to $310.87 million, which means almost CI$100 million worth of more stuff was imported between April and June last year when compared to the same period in 2020. While much of that can be blamed on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused imports to fall significantly in 2020, the number is still notably greater than the same period in 2019, when the economy was enjoying a sustained boom and the value of goods imported was around $275 million.

The increase of some 47% across the board, with almost all categories of imported goods increasing, was reflected in volume as well as value, so inflation alone does not account for the increase across the two years but reflects the country’s insatiable appetite for consumption.

The Economics and Statistics Office said the significant growth in the second quarter of last year reflected an economic rebound from the effects of the pandemic, with petroleum, petroleum-related and non-petroleum goods all increasing significantly.

“There was growth in most major categories of imports, especially machinery and transport equipment such as road vehicles, electrical and industrial machinery and equipment by 75.4 percent,” the ESO stated. “Imports of manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials, such as iron and steel, manufactures of metals and non-metallic mineral manufactures like cement, which grew by 73.8 percent. Food imports grew by 20.4 percent with increased importation of meat and meat preparations, vegetables and fruit, eggs, fish and dairy products. Imports of beverages and tobacco grew by 58.6 percent.”

There was also a higher volume of most major types of fuel, especially motor oil and diesel fuel, in addition to the higher average price of petroleum products imported during this period.

There were huge increases in some categories, such as miscellaneous manufactured goods, which increased by a whopping 141.5%. More modest growth in other categories, such as food, which grew by 20%, reflects a considerable change compared to previous years of growth, and also surpassed the value of 2019 imports.

Meanwhile, increased alcohol consumption was the cause of a more than 58% increase in the ‘Beverages and Tobacco’ category, as tobacco was one of the few categories that actually declined.

See the full report on the ESO Website here.

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Category: Economy, Politics

Comments (59)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Third world island. Explains everything. Plan around that and you will be fine.

  2. Anonymous says:

    In tune with the article headline is ” Cost of Living Reaches Record high in early 2022 “

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ask the folks that had their daughters Range Rover dropped by Port Authority in a 20 foot container. Container hit ground , engine & transmission kept going by the laws of inertia. The consignee’s essentially got told to bugger off on a claim, by the Port, Customs & Shipping company.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup. Government overreach with no accountability. Franz, do you understand what we are saying, or are our voices drowned out by the civil service echo chamber you seem stuck in?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s probably prevented a drug dealer having to wrap it in a gaudy color and put on 24 inch rims on a vehicle with collapsed suspension, in around a decade or so. Silver linings.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Import revenues to Government are “enhanced” by the addition of a 1% ILLEGAL insurance surcharge by HM Customs/CBC!!

    Can Government explain why? Why is Customs selling insurance? Why is Customs adding insurance on which insurance is the responsibility of the shipper, at the choice of the importer? Just because it’s in the Customs Law? Has it’s inclusion in that Law ever been challenged? It’s ILLEGAL!!

    Another Government RIP-OFF to increase cost of living in Cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      Government does unlawful shit all the time. No one (including our robust guarantors of good governance) stops them. It is literally out of control, accountable to no one.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope. If anyone, including Customs, damages your goods, then THEY and THEIR insurers are liable. This is all just a way for them to break stuff and not be accountable. They see nothing wrong with it. Just business as usual.

    • Say it like it is says:

      5.46pm Many years ago my wife had an MG Midget imported,it was damaged at the dock after arrival and after being removed from the container. Even after a port worker stated there was no damage when it was removed, customs and the port authority denied responsibility and her own insurer had to pay.

    • Anonymous says:

      5:46 PM, i had cargo damage and they said they are not responsible, so what are the 1 % insurance for, CBC explain ?please.

      • Anonymous says:

        Same as the repatriation fee for work permits. Not used for what they say it is. In the private sector such behavior may be described as an underhanded and unconscionable scam.

        • Anonymous says:

          Repatriation fee is NON refundable.

          • Anonymous says:

            That part is fine. The fact that the government refuses to spend it on repatriation, when repatriation is needed, is NOT!

        • Anonymous says:

          Then there’s the “Environmental Protection Fund”. You literally cannot make this shit up. There is no wonder the public’s disdain for Government is growing. That is our money, supposed to be being spent preserving our future.

  5. Anonymous says:

    At the least, legislate a price control law on the duty free items that businesses/people bring in for resale. This is just basic common sense.

  6. Colluders says:

    Can we investigate why the major shipping companies are allowed to collude and price fix their rates while shipping companies are making record profits? Shame on them and the failure of PACT for not allowing the People to drive these decisions and not holding the shipping companies Accountable.

  7. Anonymous says:

    All of this record income from financial services and imports and we are still borrowing money. We are in serious trouble.

  8. daniel johns says:

    Since Covid, retail prices skyrocket, who benefits, shareholders, shipping companies are recording record profits, who benefits, shareholders…My wife tells me, you live in one of the most expensive places to live in the World.. She has been here over 30 years.. My thoughts are the Greed will be humanities downfall…

  9. Anonymous says:

    I bring in everything. I dont even buy pens here on island anymore. It doesn’t make sense that I can buy something on the internet, pay for shipping in the USA, pay to ship it here, pay duty ( on the shipping in the USA, huge pet peeve of mine because how can you charge on a non tangible item) and still get it cheaper than on a shelf here. Ridiculous. And who’s buying this stuff to keep these guys in business. Kickbacks? Laundering? I dont get it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Lived here 10 years and never buy clothes or non food items in cayman stores. Complete rip off and terrible quality

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      I try to spend every dollar I can with the local, small businesses.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well your dollars ain’t gonna go far.

        If it’s something on Amazon, I’ll check the price and decide what markup is about right. Mostly the numbers are on two different planets. I then choose to not buy here, and usually just don’t bother at all, and will make do with the current situation.

  11. Anonymous says:

    There was also a hurricane, lest we forget.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yet my shipment has been stuck at customs since November.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The ESO report looks like something i put together when i was in year 6 in school.

  14. Anonymous says:

    After Hurricane Ivan prices rose significantly and never came back down, but now, with COVID, it’s just ridiculous.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Pension money.

  16. Gern Blenston says:

    I for one refuse to pay retailers their exorbitant mark up on certain manufactured goods…anything that our household can get online now and ship in we do it. The process takes more time but it’s worth it. A good example is coffee….Duty Free. The tipping point was a product at Kirk’s Home Center…on Amazon 9 USD…KHC 24 KYD. We are willing to pay a fair retail price…but this is absurd. Being in retail , I can say with 100% certainty that a good portion of “Covid Related” mark UPS are bull*&%# Big Retailers in Cayman are just making excuses for a huge money grab. This entire island is so divided on every issue presented by all media sources….not sure why everyone does not come together to sort out common concerns….it’s sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gern there is a simple answer:

      No Consumer Protection legislation……instead we have Mafia rule on the cost of living across the board in every facet of life.


      Govt collects fees on it all.

      • Anonymous says:

        No they don’t. They collect on import value. Which is probably half or less what most things retail for

    • Long time bobo says:

      You new here bobo?

      Cayman special:
      Take USD price – Mark it up (atleast) 100%. Convert to KYD. Et voila

    • Anonymous says:

      Rule of thumb for pricing here seems to be whatever it costs in the US, double it and make it CI dollars… then add markup.

    • Anonymous says:

      Price fixing is definitely a thing here which is totally unsurprising

    • The Fleecing in Cayman says:

      It’s as if Cayman retail businesses buy retail overseas and then sell at 300% markup. Then again at some retailers its always been this way.

    • Anonymous says:

      Prices are higher in Florida for example, but not even close to that of in Cayman.

      I buy only 3 types of bottled water: Eternal, Fiji and Icelandic- it is expensive but every week one of it goes “buy one get one free”. In fact you can buy many things from strawberries to eggs and cottage cheese getting second item for free.

      Coffee is always under $10 large package.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tap water, cistern or city, is just fine, cheap, and doesn’t pollute environment with plastic. This bottled water thing is beyond me.

        • Say it like it is says:

          6.11pm I completely agree. I drink our desal water all the time and it’s fine. Millions of dollars are wasted here each year on water in plastic bottles.
          Another issue on mark ups, some of our richest families are supermarket owners, do you wonder why!.

        • watcher says:

          Agree. Spend less than 200 pounds and you can buy a Big Berkey that can filter ANYthing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. I don’t even mind paying a price that reflects the cost of goods shipping and duty + a healthy markup for it being in stock, call it 50% but many things are 2 to 3 times what I can buy it for, ship it in and pay duty. It’s ridiculous. I’ll wait. ALT and KHS can go jump, the greed is disgusting.

      • Bobo Fett says:

        Remember, greed is the root of all evil. A lot of so called Christians here would be shamed by Jesus.

    • Coolio says:

      Grifter’s Paradise

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