A British Overseas Territory and island in the North Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda shipped US$26.8 million worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 211.2% increase since 2015 and a 17.1% gain from 2018 to 2019.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 99.2% of products exported from Bermuda were bought by importers in: the United States (78.3% of the global total), Denmark (7%), Canada (5.3%), United Kingdom (4%), Antigua and Barbuda (2.4%), Japan (0.7%), Switzerland (0.5%), Belgium (0.4%), China (0.3%), Germany (0.2%) and the Netherlands (0.1%).
From a continental perspective, 83.6% of Bermudian exports by value were delivered to North American countries while 12.4% were sold to importers in Europe. Bermuda shipped another 2% worth of goods to customers in the Caribbean, with even smaller percentage amounts going to Asia (1.1%) and the Oceanian nations (0.1%) Australia and New Zealand.
Given Bermuda’s estimated population of 71,176 people per Wikipedia, its total $26.8 million in 2019 exports translates to roughly $400 for every resident in the British Overseas Territory.
Bermuda’s unemployment rate was 5.2% in 2019, down from 6% one year earlier according to Government of Bermuda’s statistics.
Bermuda’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Bermudian global shipments during 2019 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.
- Vehicles: US$12.8 million (47.6% of total exports)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $3.3 million (12.4%)
- Machinery including computers: $1.7 million (6.3%)
- Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $1.5 million (5.8%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $1.4 million (5.2%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.2 million (4.5%)
- Ships, boats: $925,000 (3.4%)
- Gems, precious metals: $860,000 (3.2%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $851,000 (3.2%)
- Base metal tools, cutlery: $304,000 (1.1%)
By value, Bermuda’s top 10 exports accounted for 92.6% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Vehicles represent the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 1,599% from 2018 to 2019. In second place for improving export sales from Bermuda was the gems and precious metals category via its 845.1% gain, propelled by higher international sales of pearls, jewelry and diamonds from Bermuda. Miscellaneous textiles including worn clothing posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 486.7%.
Leading the decliners among the top 10 Bermudian export categories was optical, technical and medical apparatus which plunged -51.7% year over year.
Drilling down to the more granular 4-digit HTS codes, Bermuda’s most valuable exported goods are special purpose vehicles (36.8% of its global total), alcoholic beverages including liqueurs (12.2%), trailers (6.9%), camping items including tents (5.7%), aircraft parts (3.2%), pleasure or sports vessels including yachts (2.9%) then trucks (2.5%).
Bermuda generated a $779,000 surplus under the aircraft or spacecraft in 2019, up 36.9% from the 569,000 in black ink for that product category during 2018.
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 -$1.09 billion trade deficit in 2019, up 4.3% from -$1.05 billion in red ink 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.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -US$117.3 million (Up by 105.5% since 2018)
- Mineral fuels including oil: -$100.3 million (Down by -22.7%)
- Books, newspapers, pictures: -$83.6 million (Up by 9.8%)
- Machinery including computers: -$63.7 million (Up by 7.7%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: -$42.8 million (Down by -0.2%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: -$42.4 million (Down by -0.1%)
- Collector items, art, antiques: -$32.4 million (Up by 275.9%)
- Vehicles: -$28 million (Down by -40.0%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$27.5 million (Down by -3.8%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$26.7 million (Up by 6.7%)
Bermuda has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for refined petroleum oils and, to a much lesser extent, petroleum gases 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 13, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 13, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 13, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 13, 2020
Government of Bermuda, Bermuda Employment statistics. Accessed on April 13, 2020
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on April 13, 2020
Wikipedia, Bermuda. Accessed on April 13, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Bermuda. Accessed on April 13, 2020