Cuba’s Top 10 Imports

Cuban flag (courtesy of FlagPictures.org)

Cuban flag (FlagPictures)

Located in northern Caribbean and east of Mexico, the Republic of Cuba’s imports totaled an estimated US$6.5 billion in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a -11.7% decrease since 2013 and a -4.9% dip from 2016 to 2017.

According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, top suppliers accounting for nearly two-thirds of Cuba’s international purchases were: China (22%), Spain (14%), Russia (5%), Brazil (5%), Mexico (4.9%), Italy (4.8%) and United States (4.5%).

Given Cuba’s population of 11.1 million people, its estimated $6.5 billion in 2017 imports translates to roughly $580 in yearly product demand from every person in the Cuba collection of islands.

Cuba’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Cuba’s import purchases during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Cuba.

At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Cuba’s costliest imported products are poultry meat followed by refined petroleum oils, crude oil, wheat, concentrated or sweetened milk and cream, corn then automobile parts or accessories.

  1. Machinery including computers: US$989.9 million (15.2% of total imports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $546.7 million (8.4%)
  3. Vehicles: $489.4 million (7.5%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $456.2 million (7%)
  5. Cereals: $390.2 million (6%)
  6. Meat: $268.8 million (4.1%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $258.2 million (4%)
  8. Dairy, eggs, honey: $209.9 million (3.2%)
  9. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $190.9 million (2.9%)
  10. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $187.3 million (2.9%)

Cuba’s top 10 imports accounted for 61.4% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Imported mineral fuels-related products had the fastest-growing increase in value among Cuba’s top 10 import categories, up 83.1% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving import purchases was the dairy, eggs and honey category via its 43.6% gain. Cuban imports of meat delivered the third-fastest gain up 34.7%.

The two laggards among the top 10 Cuban imported product categories were food industry waster and animal fodder (down -21.6%) and vehicles (down -16.2%).

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.

Machines

In 2017, Cuban importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.

  1. Liquid pumps and elevators: US$61.4 million (down -16.4% from 2016)
  2. Piston engine parts: $59.9 million (up 89.9%)
  3. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $56.4 million (down -8.2%)
  4. Refrigerators, freezers: $54.1 million (up 21.3%)
  5. Air or vacuum pumps: $46.6 million (down -6.7%)
  6. Engines (diesel): $44.3 million (down -18.6%)
  7. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $43.9 million (down -22.3%)
  8. Machinery parts: $42 million (up 3.4%)
  9. Miscellaneous machinery: $39.3 million (down -2.4%)
  10. Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $32.5 million (down -13.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Cuba’s purchases of piston engine parts (up 89.9%), refrigerators and freezers (up 21.3%) and machinery parts (up 3.4%) were the only three to expand from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery including computers among Cuban businesses and consumers.

Electronics

In 2017, Cuban importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronics-related goods.

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$105.3 million (up 5.4% from 2016)
  2. Insulated wire/cable: $58.6 million (down -5.4%)
  3. Electric generating sets, converters: $41.9 million (up 96.2%)
  4. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $38.8 million (down -6.7%)
  5. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $38.7 million (up 17.6%)
  6. Electrical converters/power units: $33.5 million (down -18.3%)
  7. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $30.5 million (up 11.6%)
  8. Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $22.6 million (down -53%)
  9. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $21.6 million (down -28.2%)
  10. Electric storage batteries: $19.6 million (down -34.6%)

Among these import subcategories, Cuba’s purchases of electric generating sets or converters (up 96.2%), solar power diodes or semi-conductors (up 17.6%) and electrical or optical circuit boards and panels (up 11.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics-related goods among Cuban businesses and consumers.

Vehicles

In 2017, Cuban importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles.

  1. Automobile parts/accessories: US$127.3 million (down -4.8% from 2016)
  2. Public-transport vehicles: $111.8 million (up 1.3%)
  3. Trucks: $67.9 million (down -31.5%)
  4. Tractors: $47.1 million (down -1.3%)
  5. Cars: $42.7 million (down -39.7%)
  6. Special purpose vehicles: $35.7 million (up 22.6%)
  7. Trailers: $30.7 million (down -30.8%)
  8. Work trucks: $10.9 million (up 68.6%)
  9. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $4.8 million (down -34.3%)
  10. Automobile bodies: $4.1 million (up 6.7%)

Among these import subcategories, Cuba’s purchases of work trucks (up 68.6%), special purpose vehicles (up 22.6%) and automobile bodies (up 6.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported vehicles among Cuban businesses and consumers.

Fuel

In 2017, Cuban importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$244 million (up 71% from 2016)
  2. Crude oil: $208.9 million (up 103.8%)
  3. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $1.7 million (down -12.1%)
  4. Coke, semi-coke: $630,000 (down -41.7%)
  5. Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $221,000 (down -59.7%)
  6. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $180,000 (down -45%)
  7. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $110,000 (up 93%)
  8. Lignite: $40,000 (down 0%)
  9. Petroleum gases: $18,000 (up 350%)
  10. Peat: $15,000 (down -16.7%)

Among these import subcategories, Cuba’s purchases of petroleum gases (up 350%), crude oil (up 103.8%) and high-temperature coal tar oils (up 93%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported mineral fuels-related goods among Cuban businesses and consumers.



 
See also Cuba’s Top 10 Exports, China’s Top 10 Exports and Spain’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on October 30, 2018

The World Factbook, Central America and Caribbean: Cuba, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on October 30, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on October 30, 2018

Wikipedia, Cuba. Accessed on October 30, 2018