Cuba’s Top 10 Exports

Cuba’s Top 10 Exports


Cuba shipped US$2.9 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2015, down by -20.4% since 2011. Cuba’s top 10 exports accounted for 81.1% of the overall value of the island country’s global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Cuba’s total Gross Domestic Product was $128.5 billion in 2014 (the latest period for which data was available on article publication date).

Therefore, exports accounted for approximately 2.3% of total Cuban economic output.

Given Cuba’s population of 11 million people, the total $2.9 billion in 2015 Cuban exports translates to roughly $259 for every person in the country.

During 2015, Cuba’s unemployment rate was 2.4% down from 2.7% in 2014 according to

Cuba’s Top 10 Exports

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Cuban global shipments during 2015. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of Cuba’s overall exports.

  1. Books, newspapers, pictures: US$970.8 million (34% of total exports)
  2. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $420 million (14.7%)
  3. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $230 million (8.1%)
  4. Nickel: $174.3 million (6.1%)
  5. Mineral fuels including oil: $162.4 million (5.7%)
  6. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $114.1 million (4%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: $87.7 million (3.1%)
  8. Fish: $64.2 million (2.3%)
  9. Iron, steel: $45.9 million (1.6%)
  10. Wood: $44 million (1.5%)

Among the top 10 Cuban export categories above, only two rose in value since 2011: books, newspapers and pictures (up 57,075%) and wood with a more modest 165.2% increase.

Cuba’s pharmaceutical and nickel exports didn’t fare as well over the 5-year period, down by -78.6% and -76.3% respectively. Exported iron and steel lost -61.9% of their value compared to 2011, while Cuban mineral fuel shipments including oil depreciated by -49.4%.

See also Most Valuable Cuban Export Products, Russia’s Top Import Partners and Sugar Exports by Country

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on November 14, 2016

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on November 14, 2016

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, Accessed on November 14, 2016