Sugar, cigars and alcoholic beverages were among the 20 highest value Cuban export products in 2016.
The most valuable Cuban exports also include nickel, iron/steel products and copper scrap. Natural honey also appears among Cuba’s highest value exports.
The following list shows which product categories provide Cuban exporters with the most cashflow. Unlike most information currently available on the web, the items below are detailed at the 4-digit tariff code level.
This level of granularity can help entrepreneurs identify more precisely which products for which Cuba enjoys strong demand and competitive advantages compared with other nations. Innovation can transform these insights into lucrative business opportunities.
Cuba ranks way down the list of the world’s major exporting countries, coming in around 120th place.
Most Valuable Cuban Export Products
Below are the 20 most valuable export products delivered from Cuban exporters in 2016. Shown within brackets for each item is the percentage gain in value from 2009 to 2016.
- Sugar (cane or beet): US$408.8 million (up 41.7% since 2009)
- Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes: $252.8 million (up 8.6%)
- Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs): $103.9 million (down -5.9%)
- Nickel matte, oxide sinters: $77.3 million (down -77.6%)
- Crustaceans (including lobsters): $77.1 million (up 29.1%)
- Dried organs, heparin: $51.3 million (up 45.6%)
- Wood charcoal: $43.1 million (up 455.6%)
- Blood fractions (including antisera): $23.1 million (up 25.6%)
- Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished): $21.1 million (up 5.4%)
- Copper waste, scrap: $20.8 million (up 40.7%)
- Processed petroleum oils: $15.4 million (down -89.7%)
- Natural honey: $14.3 million (up 53.1%)
- Medication mixes in dosage: $9.8 million (down -95.5%)
- Aluminum waste, scrap: $9 million (up 16.7%)
- Coffee: $7.3 million (up 135.9%)
- Fruit and vegetable juices: $5.1 million (down -81.1%)
- Anti-freeze, de-icing preparations: $4.5 million (up 41.8%)
- Unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco waste: $4.1 million (down -73%)
- Other diagnostic/lab reagents: $3.6 million (up 55.1%)
- Cocoa butter, fat, oil: $2.6 million (up 333.9%)
Among these product categories, exported wood charcoal appreciated the most via its 455.6% gain over the 7-year period.
Cuban exports of cocoa butter, fat and oil also showed an impressive gain in 2016 up by 333.9% from 2009, followed by export sales of coffee which rose in value by 135.9%.
In fourth place were miscellaneous diagnostic or laboratory reagents which expanded in value by 55.1%.
Medication mixes in dosage (down by -95.5%) and processed petroleum oils (down by -89.7%) led the decliners.
See also Cuba’s Top 10 Exports, Russia’s Top Import Partners and Sugar Exports by Country
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 26, 2017
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 26, 2017
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on April 26, 2017