A British Overseas Territory and island in the North Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda shipped US$22.9 million worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 91.4% increase since 2014 and a 95.1% surge from 2017 to 2018.
Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Bermuda’s exported goods plus services represent 49.8% of total Bermudian economic output or Gross Domestic Product. Please note that the overall value of exported goods and services includes a large portion of re-exporting activity. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.
The latest data shows that about 99% of products exported from Bermuda were bought by importers in: the United States (76.4% of the global total), United Kingdom (7.5%), Canada (6.3%), Switzerland (5.1%), Germany (1.1%), France (0.8%), Japan (0.5%), Sweden (0.4%) and China 0.3%).
From a continental perspective, 83.1% of Bermudian exports by value were delivered to North American countries while 15.5% were sold to importers in Europe. Bermuda shipped another 1% worth of goods to customers in Asia, with even smaller percentage amounts going to the Caribbean and Oceania.
Given Bermuda’s population of 71,176 people as of July 2018, its total $22.9 million in 2018 exports translates to roughly $330 for every resident in the British North American island nation.
Bermuda’s unemployment rate was 6% in 2018, down from 7% one year earlier according to Bermuda’s Ministry of Finance.
Bermuda’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Bermudian global shipments during 2018 at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Bermuda.
- Books, newspapers, pictures: US$4.3 million (18.6% of total exports)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $3.7 million (16%)
- Machinery including computers: $2.9 million (12.7%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $2.5 million (10.8%)
- Ships, boats: $1.7 million (7.5%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $1.7 million (7.5%)
- Vehicles: $751,000 (3.3%)
- Clocks, watches including parts: $636,000 (2.8%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $600,000 (2.6%)
- Base metal tools, cutlery: $344,000 (1.5%)
By value, Bermuda’s top 10 exports accounted for 83.3% of the overall value of its global shipments.
The highly capital-intensive ships and boats category was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 171,900% from 2017 to 2018.
In second place for improving export sales from Bermuda was vehicles via its 37,450% gain.
Bermudian books, newspapers and pictures posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 2,776%.
Leading the decliners among the top 10 Bermudian export categories was clocks and watches including parts which retreated by -48.1% year over year.
Drilling down to the more granular 4-digit HTS codes, Bermuda’s most valuable exported goods are stamps ($4.2 million), alcoholic beverages including liqueurs ($3.6 million), pleasure or sports vessels including yachts ($1.5 million), survey, hydro or weather instruments ($1.2 million) then air or vacuum pumps ($910,000).
Bermuda generated a $569,000 surplus under the aircraft or spacecraft in 2018, up from a -$4.5 million deficit for that product category during 2017.
Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. This can result in a positive or negative trade balance.
In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services, in this case for aircraft or spacecraft.
Overall Bermuda incurred a -$1.05 billion trade deficit in 2018, down -1.6% from -$1.07 billion one year earlier.
Below are exports from Bermuda that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Bermuda’s goods trail Bermudian importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$129.8 million (Up by 64.7% since 2017)
- Books, newspapers, pictures: -$76.1 million (Down by -10.8%)
- Machinery including computers: -$59.1 million (Down by -4.7%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$57.1 million (Down by -0.7%)
- Vehicles: -$46.6 million (Down by -8.1%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: -$42.9 million (Down by -0.9%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: -$42.4 million (Up by 0.5%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$31.3 million (Up by 37.7%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$28.5 million (Up by 3.1%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$25 million (Up by 1.5%)
Bermuda has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for refined petroleum oils and, to a much lesser extent, petroleum gas under the mineral fuels-related products category.
Bermudian Export Companies
Nine businesses with headquarters in Bermuda rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the world-class Bermudian companies that Forbes included:
- Seadrill (oil services & equipment)
- Everest Re Group (diversified insurance)
- PartnerRe (diversified insurance)
- Arch Capital Group (property/casualty insurance)
- Axis Capital Holdings (diversified insurance)
- Assured Guaranty (diversified insurance)
- Nabors Industries (oil services & equipment)
- Catlin Group (property/casualty insurance)
- Signet Jewelers (jewelry stores)
Wikipedia lists exports-related companies from Bermuda. Selected examples are shown below:
- Bacardi (alcoholic beverages)
- Gosling Brothers (alcoholic beverages)
- Nabors Industries (oil, natural gas)
- Scorpion Offshore (oil, gas)
Bermuda’s capital city is Hamilton.
See also Cuba’s Top 10 Exports, Jamaica’s Top 10 Exports and Colombia’s Top Trading Partners
FlagPictures.org, Flag of Bermuda. Accessed on April 1, 2019
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 1, 2019
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 1, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 1, 2019
Jonathan Kent, The Royal Gazette, Survey finds labour force shrinking. Accessed on April 1, 2019
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on April 1, 2019
Wikipedia, Bermuda. Accessed on April 1, 2019
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Bermuda. Accessed on April 1, 2019