Barbados Top 10 Exports

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Exports comprise a tiny–but growing–share of the Barbadian economy. During 2016, Barbados shipped US$543.2 million worth of goods around the globe in 2016, up by 68.3% since 2009 when the Great Recession kicked in and up by 12.5% from 2015 to 2016.

Barbados’s top 10 exports account for three-quarters (74.9%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Barbados’s total Gross Domestic Product was $4.8 billion in 2016.

Therefore, exports account for about 11.3% of total Barbadian economic output.

From a continental perspective, about 40% of Barbadian exports by value are delivered to Latin American and other Caribbean countries. North America buys about 35.1% of total shipments from Barbados, with 7.6% going to Europe and 6.2% arriving in Asia.

Given Barbados’s population of 291,495 people, the total $543.2 million in 2016 Barbadian exports translates to roughly $1,900 for every person in the island nation.

As of September 2016, the unemployment rate was 10.2% compared to 12.7% in 2014 according to Trading Economics.

Barbados’s Top 10 Exports

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Barbadian global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall Barbadian exports. At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, the number one exported product from Barbados is jewelry followed by refined petroleum oils.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$103.7 million (19.1% of total exports)
  2. Gems, precious metals: $92.9 million (17.1%)
  3. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $53.4 million (9.8%)
  4. Pharmaceuticals: $45.5 million (8.4%)
  5. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $31.6 million (5.8%)
  6. Clocks , watches including parts: $19.4 million (3.6%)
  7. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $18.8 million (3.5%)
  8. Electrical machinery, equipment: $15.6 million (2.9%)
  9. Paper, paper items: $14.8 million (2.7%)
  10. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $11.1 million (2%)

Among the top 10 Barbadian exports above, mineral fuels including oil showed the greatest increase via a 711.7% appreciation since 2009. About 70% of exported Barbadian oil is refined petroleum as opposed to crude oil.

Gems and precious metals was up 526.4% over the 7-year period ending in 2016 led by improved international sales of jewelry, diamonds and pearls.

The optical, technical and medical equipment category gained 119.9% over the same period trailed by paper and paper items 48.3% improvement.

Shipments of Barbadian animal/vegetable fats, oils and waxes declined in value by -18.4%.

See also America’s Top Import Partners and Refined Oil Exports by Country

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 14, 2017

The World Factbook, Central America and Caribbean: Barbados, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 14, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, Accessed on February 14, 2017