Cuba’s Top 10 Imports 2019

Cuban flag (courtesy of FlagPictures.org)
Cuban flag (FlagPictures)

Located in northern Caribbean and east of Mexico, the Republic of Cuba’s imported goods cost an estimated total US$5.3 billion in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a -48.3% decline since 2016 and a -53.8% dip from 2018 to 2019.

From a continental perspective, the leading proportion of Cuba’s imports in 2018 originated from suppliers in Latin America (34.4%) excluding Mexico. Close behind were providers in Europe (30.8%) trailed by Asia (21%), North America (9.7%), Africa (3.7%), and Oceania (0.2%) led by New Zealand.

Given Cuba’s population of 11.3 million people, its estimated $5.3 billion imports translates to approximately $470 in yearly product need from every person in the Cuban collection of islands.

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Cuba’s import purchases during 2019. Also shown is the percentage proportion each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Cuba.

  1. Machinery including computers: US$861.7 million (16.2% of total imports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $475.5 million (9%)
  3. Cereals: $378.4 million (7.1%)
  4. Meat: $309.4 million (5.8%)
  5. Vehicles: $271.7 million (5.1%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: $225 million (4.2%)
  7. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $202.8 million (3.8%)
  8. Articles of iron or steel: $187.1 million (3.5%)
  9. Dairy, eggs, honey: $173.8 million (3.3%)
  10. Iron, steel: $127.2 million (2.4%)

Cuba’s top 10 imports accounted for 60.5% of the overall cost of its product purchases from other countries.

Not one of these top 10 product categories increased from 2018 to 2019.

Leading the declining categories were vehicles (down -46.8%), iron and steel (down -46.6%), and cereals (down -42%) weighed down by decreasing imports of rice and corn.

Please observe that information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.

Machinery

In 2019, Cuban importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.

  1. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: US$52.7 million (down -14.3% from 2018)
  2. Liquid pumps and elevators: $47 million (down -48.6%)
  3. Machinery parts: $43.3 million (up 6.8%)
  4. Miscellaneous machinery: $37 million (up 134%)
  5. Air or vacuum pumps: $36.1 million (down -54.7%)
  6. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $35.3 million (down -39.8%)
  7. Sort/screen/washing machinery: $33.5 million (up 145.4%)
  8. Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $32.7 million (down -26.2%)
  9. Refrigerators, freezers: $31.2 million (down -51.1%)
  10. Temperature-change machines: $30.9 million (up 38.9%)

Among these import subcategories, Cuban purchases of sorting, screening or washing machinery (up 145.4%), miscellaneous machinery (up 134%) then temperature-change machines (up 38.9%) grew at the fastest speed from 2018 to 2019.

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

Electronics

In 2019, Cuban importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronics-related goods.

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$106.2 million (up 25.4% from 2018)
  2. Insulated wire/cable: $47.3 million (down -19.6%)
  3. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $39.7 million (down -37.7%)
  4. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $29.5 million (down -30.6%)
  5. Electrical converters/strength units: $25.9 million (down -29.5%)
  6. Electric generating sets, converters: $23.9 million (down -58.5%)
  7. Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches: $20.3 million (up 159.2%)
  8. Solar strength diodes/semi-conductors: $19.7 million (up 17.7%)
  9. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $18.6 million (down -47%)
  10. Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $15.8 million (down -53.8%)

Among these import subcategories, Cuban purchases of electric circuit parts, fuses and switches (up 159.2%), phone system devices including smartphones (up 25.4%) and solar strength diodes or semi-conductors (up 17.7%) grew from 2018 to 2019.

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

Cereals

In 2019, Cuban importers spent the most on the following subcategories of cereals.

  1. Wheat: US$181.1 million (down -1.6% from 2018)
  2. Corn: $145.5 million (down -24.9%)
  3. Rice: $49.8 million (down -81.8%)
  4. Oats: $1.9 million (up 235.5%)
  5. Canary seed and quinoa: $142,000 (up 8.5%)
  6. Barley: $46,000 (up 4.5%)

Among these import subcategories, Cuba’s purchases of oats (up 235.5%), canary seeds and quinoa (up 8.5%) then barley (up 4.5%) grew at the fastest speed from 2018 to 2019.

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

Meat

In 2019, Cuban importers spent the most on the following subcategories of meat-related products.

  1. Poultry meat: US$284.7 million (down -6.6% from 2018)
  2. Frozen beef: $10.3 million (down -17.4%)
  3. Swine meat: $9.9 million (down -7.2%)
  4. Salted/dried/smoked meat: $2.7 million (down -19.1%)
  5. Red meat offal: $1.0 million (up 17.6%)
  6. Sheep or goat meat: $492,000 (down -49.7%)
  7. Fresh or chilled beef: $188,000 (no 2018 data)
  8. Pig, poultry fat: $122,000 (down -19.7%)

Among these import subcategories, Cuban purchases of red meat offal posted the only increase from 2018 to 2019, thanks to its 17.6% gain.

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

 

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

Research supplies:
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on July 9, 2020

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Databases (GDP based on Purchasing strength Parity). Accessed on July 9, 2020

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 9, 2020

Wikipedia, Cuba. Accessed on July 9, 2020

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