That dollar amount reflects a -22.8% drop since 2020 when exports from the Cayman Islands totaled $22.1 million.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 100% of products exported from the Cayman Islands were bought by importers in: United States of America (77.8% of the Caymans global total), Jamaica (13.1%) and the United Kingdom (9.1%).
From a continental perspective, 94.5% of the Cayman Islands’ exports by value were delivered to North America, Latin America including the Caribbean (13.1%), and Europe (9.1%).
Given Cayman Islands’ population of 66,500 people, its total $17.1 million in 2021 exports translates to roughly $260 for every resident in the independent territory.
Cayman Islands’ Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Caymanian global shipments during 2021, 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 Cayman Islands.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: US$7.2 million (42.4% of total exports)
- Iron, steel: $1.6 million (9.5%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1 million (6%)
- Copper: $909,000 (5.3%)
- Machinery including computers: $816,000 (4.8%)
- Other chemical goods: $778,000 (4.6%)
- Coffee, tea, spices: $594,000 (3.5%)
- Aluminum: $303,000 (1.8%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $276,000 (1.6%)
- Gems, precious metals: $237,000 (1.4%)
The Cayman Islands’ top 10 exports accounted for 80.8% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Miscellaneous chemical goods represent the fastest growers among the top 10 export categories, up by 25,833% from 2020 to 2021.
In second place for improving export sales were the metals iron and steel, which increased by 359.6%.
The Cayman Islands’ shipments of optical, technical and medical apparatus posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 193.7%.
The leading decliner among the Cayman Islands’ top 10 export categories was mineral fuels including oil which fell -89.4% year over year. There was a dramatic fall in revenues for refined petroleum oils exported by the Cayman Islands.
From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, phone devices including smartphones represent Cayman Islands’ most valuable exported product generating 40.6% of the country’s total by value. In second place was iron or steel scrap (9.5%) trailed by copper waste or scrap (5.3%), prepared micro-organism cultures (4.5%), miscellaneous measuring or testing machines (4.2%), dried and crushed or ground pepper (3%), computers including optical readers (1.9%), refined petroleum oils (1.6%), then aluminum waste or scrap (1.5%).
Products Resulting in Cayman Islands’ Best Trade Surpluses
Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
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 turn, these cashflows indicate Cayman Islands’ competitive advantages for the product categories below.
- Lead: US$167,000 (Up by 10.6% since 2020)
- Woodpulp: $8,000 (Down by -42.9%)
The above are the sole product categories generating trade surpluses for the Cayman Islands.
Products Causing Cayman Islands’ Worst Trade Deficits
Overall Cayman Islands racked up a -$1.5 billion product trade deficit for 2021, expanding by 15.9% from -$1.3 billion in red ink one year earlier in 2020.
Below are exports from Cayman Islands that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Cayman Islands’ goods trail Caymanian importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$154.5 million (Up by 48.4% since 2020)
- Vehicles: -$116.8 million (Up by 26.3%)
- Machinery including computers: -$114.9 million (Up by 20%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$99 million (Up by 69.9%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$83.5 million (Up by 24.5%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: -$68.6 million (Up by 37.2%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: -$52.1 million (Up by 22.2%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$46 million (Up by 57.2%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$46 million (Up by 24.4%)
- Miscellaneous food preparations: -$45.5 million (Up by 2%)
Cayman Islands has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for refined petroleum oils and petroleum gas under the mineral fuels including oil product category.
Caymanian Export Companies
One Caymanian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000, specifically pharmaceuticals supplier Herbalife Ltd.
Wikipedia also lists exports-related companies from the Cayman Islands. Selected examples are shown below.
- Fabrinet (telecommunications equipment)
- O2Micro International Limited (semiconductors)
- Ocean Rig (oil, gas)
- Theravance Biopharma, Inc (pharmaceuticals)
Cayman Islands’ capital city is George Town.
See also Haiti’s Top 10 Exports, Mexico’s Top 10 Exports and Netherlands Top 10 Exports
FlagPictures.org, Flag of Cayman Islands. Accessed on September 10, 2022
Forbes 2017 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 10, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 10, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 10, 2022
NASDAQ, Companies in Cayman Islands. Accessed on September 10, 2022
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Central America and Caribbean: Cayman Islands. Accessed on September 10, 2022
Wikipedia, Cayman Islands. Accessed on September 10, 2022