Imports fall by 2.3% in second quarter over 2012

| 25/10/2013

(CNS): With government hoping to generate a surplus of more than $100 million in this financial year, news that imports fell by several million dollars in the second quarter of 2013 compared to last year will be something of a blow to the public coffers. According to the latest statistics from the Economics and Statistics Office, the total value of all merchandise goods imported by Cayman residents amounted to CI$178.2 million, 2.3% lower compared to CI$182.4 million recorded in the second quarter of 2012. Officials said the decline related to falls in the purchase of non-petroleum goods, as oil related products increased by 1.3% due to higher oil prices but a fall in volume.

With the economy still slow and residents struggling to make ends meet, Cayman was buying less of most things but was also paying higher prices for what it did buy.

“Overall, the decline in the total value of imports was mainly due to non-petroleum products, such as miscellaneous manufactured articles, and chemicals and related products,” said Marco Archer, the finance minister.

Imports of oil grew from CI$38.6 million in the second quarter of 2012 to CI$39.1million this year because of the increase in the average price of fuel imports, as the volume of imports fell. Petroleum products accounts for almost 22% of all imports. The ESO found that food imports also grew in value because of higher prices.

Although Cayman does not export significant amounts of goods, the things it does sell overseas also fell significantly by more than 50%, with six out of ten export categories in decline.

The trade statistics produced by the Economics and Statistics Office are compiled from computerized records maintained by the Customs Department. The records are based on documents which are completed by importers, exporters or their agents, who are obliged to record the appropriate statistical code number against each commodity using the Cayman Islands Tariff Code (CITC).

The figures are used to help track trade trends and changes in import and export as the duty on imports is a very important revenue source for government.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Not spending money is critical to a successful extractive stay in Cayman.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the 1500 and their dependants that PPM helped will increase that next quarter.

    • Anon says:

      If you think the PPM helped these 1500 you are under a severe misconception and you totally do not understand the new law.  The majority of the 1500 could not possibly qualify for PR under the new regime.  Who is preaching you guys this simplistic and ill-informed foolishness?

    • Anonymous says:

      You better hope so or they'll be off, taking their pension pots and earnings with them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    When did the population go down? Imports are going down because people are not making money. Caymanian people are not making more in most cases with tourism they are making half as much. I hope you don't really believe that people on a work permit are importing more then Caymanians did. You would have to be high! What do foreigners working in the tourism sector import?? The domestics? 500 professionals weren't even importing cars.They were buying 2nd hand cars.

    • Anon says:

      I think they're referring to those of us on work permits who hold specialist qualifications and are skilled workers.  We invest a lot in Cayman, and we import a lot too.

  4. Cheese Face says:

    I import less than I used to with the increased duty rates. I would rather live without some little luxuries than pay through the nose for them.

    Decrease the duty and people will purchase more.

    • Anon says:

      Basic economics that nobody in Cayman seems to understand.  Increase your prices and fees and your market decreases.  Lower your prices and fees and the market increases substantially.  CIG needs an economics 101.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just Jewlery alon downtown will be down more than that with the lack of cruise sip numbers. Also with the import duty at 12percent now some of the stores prefer to smuggle their goods in paying no duty losing the CiG with nothing.  Now they sa if it was lowered they would pay but most cases not.  But if they did lower the duty sales wold increase and the CIG would get much more $.  In Arube they doubled the duty for 2 years on Jewlery and they collected 30 percent less $. Go figure

    • Anny Omis says:

      Even though you are the only poster who is a worst speller and typistt than me, you are 100% correct.

    • Anonymous says:

      Isn't the point of "duty free" stores that the merchandise they sell attracts no duty?  

  6. Anonymous says:

    What about the prices at the store, when will they adjust there prices?

    • Anonymous says:

      'The ESO found that food imports also grew in value because of higher prices.'

      That'll be why then, the only way is up my friend. Cayman won't have to worry about expat workers anymore, they'll be leaving because its just too expensive to stay here. Add in the rise in crime, immigration uncertainty and local hostility, and the economy is looking just peachy. 

      • And another Ting says:

        Oh its cryiing time again youre going to leave me, I can see that far away look in your eyes, but I want to say to you my darling dont let that dream be that youre coming back.

        And another ting.

      • But Later... says:

        Keep an eye on the long game though – in a few years, after "The Fall", it'll be just like TCI and you'll be able to buy a nice 2 bedroom house for only $100 grand or so.  Of course you'd have to spend another hundred on the walls, gates, bars, alarms and armed guards, but what the hell..

    • Anny Omis says:

      My costs have risen 13.4% in the last two years. I have dropped my margin and prices twice, more than 25% in total. We run a fraction of the margin of SMB or Camana Bay stores. Cheapest prices on this rock are in George Town, because said businesses are hurting, due to largely to governments actions and inaction in dealing with the global financial crisis.

      Businesses still have to pay the staff, the health care, the pension, the rent, the CUC, and do so with declining sales and revenue. Costs will be passed on to the consumer for nondiscretionary goods. That is why it is idiocy to raise taxes (or their equivalent in fees) during a down economy. It has a constrictive effect on spending, and only exacerbates the problem.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Of course it fell, duties/fees on things imported are ridiculous, and the more they increase the duties/fees the more it will continue to fall, it would be better to lower the fees, that way more people might start importing items again instead of trying to smuggle it in on a CAL flight or with a fake invoice

    • Anon says:

      I recently brought in a very small item from the states.  It cost me US$18.  The charges customs added were more than the item itself cost.  Once my carrier had added his charges too the total import duties and charges together were CI$57!!

      The duties and taxes, not to mention the arbitrary way customs levy such charges, are extortionate and I should imagine imports will only continue to fall until somebody does something about it.

      • Anon says:

        I can only assume the thumbs down think I am lying.  But I still have the paperwork to prove it!

        • Ba Ba Black Sheep says:

          You should have wrapped it in wool and it would have been duty free. 

        • Anonymous says:

          I imagine they are from cavemen who expect you to buy everything on island.

      • Anonymous says:

        To:Submitted by Anon (not verified) on Fri, 25/10/2013 – 12:21                                             Obviously you are not a prudent shopper and did not do your research before shopping overseas.Perhaps you should have consulted the Customs Dept.,or a customs broker and obtained advice on the least expensive method to bring in your item.You might have discovered that duty is usually collected on the CIF value of your goods i.e the total of cost,plus insurance(if any)plus freight.Therefore using a shipper who offered freight consolidation may have saved you quite a bit (In other words ,cheaper freight=cheaper duty). I am pretty sure that the freight charges on your item was over US$50 ,thus driving up the dutyon  your goods which was probably 22% of CIF.So next time instead of accusing Customs of levying duty in an arbitrary manner ,you should do your research.

        • Anon says:

          Um, I did use a customs broker.  My frieght charges were less than US$25.  I agree had I not used the broker it would have cost more.  That's why I did my research and used a broker.  Next….

      • Visa Patrol says:

        You are very irresponsible and should consider yourself lucky that your wife doesn’t take your credit card away…..

  8. Anonymous says:

    If we keep reducing our population by rollovah and general anti-expat attitudes concerning their investing  and living in Cayman, then of course imports, and therefore customs duty/revenue to Government will fall. if that's the path we wish to follow, we need to start decreasing expenditure dramatically. Close the Turtle Farm and save millions right there, for a start.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except the population hasnt' reduced. So your entire argument is invalid.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh yes it has, the local population is in decline according to your own census.

        And if expats keep leaving on rollover and through general disillusionment with government policies and local hostility, then imports will definately suffer. Then its a double whammy to the economy, first you have less people spending and investing their money on Cayman, and then your public coffers will fail due to your reliance on work permit/duty payments.

        Don't forget, you want the expat community to be more transient, that means less in the pension pot, less in the investment pot, less in the importation pot and less on consumer purchase. The problem you have then is that a small local population, (in decline) can't support itself.

        Don't be fooloish enough to believe that people will always come here to work or play. Bermuda tried that and almost lost its entire tourism product as well as a raft of experienced workers.

        Also, don't make the mistake of assuming all expats are low paid or send their dollars 'back home'. Most low and mid range pay workers I know spend all of their money on island and actually want to invest in property, but cannot due to ridiculous immigration laws that are holding the wealth creators back.

        • Anonymous says:

          The census shows the population growing. Stop making crap up.

          • Anonymous says:

            I will assure you that the population at the end of 2013 will be less than that of the census. The number of expats leaving, including those with Status, PR and years to go before rollover is staggering right now.  Caymanians have finally got their wish. Now watch the rental apartment market collapse and small businesses fold. It's inevitable. The beginning of the end has started.

          • Anonymous says:

            Local population stupid, not combined with expats, DOH!!

            • Anonymous says:

              Doh! Expats living in Cayman are part of the local population, stupid, and the number is growing!

        • Anonymous says:

          There was a decline in population between 2008 and 2011 but the current figures show that the population is increasing and is almost back to 2008 levels. 

      • CASTOR says:

        The population will soon decrease in December. Plus import duties will fall even more when the new immigration laws bite.

      • Anonymous says:

        Increased from 44,000 when rollover was introduced to well over 56,000 today, so poster, you are quite correct.

      • Anonymous says:

        In fact, the population is growing at an unsustainable rate with persons who cannot maintain themselves and are not consumers. Rollover is actually needed as part of the solution more than ever.

      • Anonymous says:

        Expat population has started decreasing due to tlep issue and jobs being moved onshore as companies are not going to be told who they have to employ. Our office lost 3 people in the last 3 months and that work is now being done in India which is saving a fortune. CIG needs to do some serious homework.

        • Anonymous says:

          Whatever CIG does it will be cheaper to employ people in India. Scare tactics.

  9. Anonymous says:

    cayman is doomed….. and in the recent budget this 'do-nothing' government failed to do anything about the crippling cost of living or doing business