Barbados Top 10 Exports

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A North American island country in the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles region, Barbados exported US$485.4 million worth of goods around the globe in 2017, up by 3.8% since 2013 but down by -6.1% from 2016 to 2017.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, exported goods plus services from Barbados represent 35.3% of total Barbadian economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, some 40% of Barbadian exports by value are delivered to Latin American and other Caribbean countries. North America buys about a third of total shipments from Barbados, with less than 10% going to Europe and roughly 4% arriving in Asia.

Given Barbados’s population of 292,336 people, the total $485.4 million in 2017 Barbadian exports translates to roughly $1,700 for every person in the island nation.

As of September 2017, the island country’s 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 2017. 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 most valuable exported products from Barbados are refined petroleum oils, undenatured ethyl alcohol and medicines for prophylactic or therapeutic purposes.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$107.9 million (22.2% of total exports)
  2. Beverages, spirits: $59.8 million (12.3%)
  3. Pharmaceuticals: $35.5 million (7.3%)
  4. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $25.9 million (5.3%)
  5. Gems, precious metals: $23.9 million (4.9%)
  6. Perfumes, cosmetics: $17.6 million (3.6%)
  7. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $16.6 million (3.4%)
  8. Electrical machinery, equipment: $14.6 million (3%)
  9. Paper, paper items: $14.5 million (3%)
  10. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $11.9 million (2.5%)

Barbados’ top 10 exports account for two-thirds (67.6%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Among the top 10 Barbadian export categories above, perfumes and cosmetics showed the greatest percentage increase via a 203.9% appreciation since 2016.

Exported mineral fuels including oil gained 39.6% led by improved international sales of petroleum oils–both crude and refined.

The beverages and spirits category gained 119.9% over the same period thanks to stronger revenues for undenatured ethyl alcohol.

The sole decline for the top 10 export categories was a -74.2% cutback for gems and precious metals, principally evaporating demand for Barbadian jewelry.

See also America’s Top Trading 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 16, 2018

The World Factbook, Central America and Caribbean: Barbados, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 16, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, Accessed on February 16, 2018