Turning over now to Imports. Statistics show that for the month of December 2017, imports decreased by 0.9 percent or $1.6 million landing at a total of $167.2 million in comparison to December 2016 which stood at $168.8 million.
(Insert Figure 2) Imports saw a decline in majority of the different categories. Chemical Products’ and the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ categories each fell by approximately $3 million, going from $16.3 million to $13.2 million, and $33.7 million to $30.7 million, respectively.
The most notable decreases for 2017 were observed in three specific categories including ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, ‘Other Manufactures’ and ‘Food and Live Animals’, which fell by $113.7 million altogether. ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ recorded the most significant drop of the three, which declined steeply by $83.2 million. ‘Other Manufactures’ went down by $17.2 million, while imports of ‘Food and Live Animals’ declined by $13.3 million.
On the other hand, imports of ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ recorded a considerable increase growing by $28.7 million from $187 million in 2016 to $215 million in 2017 due to higher world market prices for fuel.