The worrying decline in Guyana’s export performance-Conclusion
For the year 2014, sugar export earnings amounted to US$88.0 million, 22.9 percent less than the 2013 level. This outturn was mainly due to a 34.8 percent decrease in the average price, since there was an 18.3 percent increase in export volume.
The volume of sugar exported amounted to 189,565 metric tonnes or 29,281 metric tonnes more than the level exported in 2013. As a percent of total sugar exports, those to the EU under the ACP/EU Sugar Protocol was 84.0 percent compared with the 84.1 percent recorded in 2013.
Exports to the CARICOM region amounted to 11.7 percent compared with 6.8 percent recorded at end-2013. Average export price for sugar decreased by 34.8 percent or US$248.2 to US$464.3 per metric tonne, compared to US$712.6 per metric tonne in 2013.
As for Bauxite export earnings, this amounted to US$124.7 million, 7.4 percent below the 2013 level of US$134.6 million due to a decline in volume by 5.7 percent to 1,583,343 metric tonnes from 1,678,971 metric tonnes in 2013. This decline was on account of lower export volumes of calcined bauxite and metallurgical grade bauxite (MAZ), which decreased by 13.3 percent and 9.6 percent respectively, from the 2013 levels. There was a 1.8 percent decline in the average export price of bauxite from US$80.2 to US$78.8 per metric tonne in 2014.
In the Gold industry, export receipts were US$469.8 million, 27.6 percent or US$178.7 million lower than the 2013 level of US$648.5 million. This contraction was attributable to persistent low world market prices for the metal along with lower export volumes by 20.1 percent or 96,844 ounces in 2014. The average export price per ounce of gold declined by 9.4 percent to US$1,218.1 per ounce from US$1,344.0 per ounce in 2013.
2016 export performance
For this year, sugar export earnings amounted to US$20.8 million, 31.4 percent or US$9.5 million below the level in 2015, due mainly to a decline in the volume exported.
Statistics show that the export volume decreased by 36.0 percent or 27,719 metric tonnes from 76,998 metric tonnes to 49,279 metric tonnes. The average export price for sugar increased by 7.3 percent to US$423.0 per metric tonne.
As for rice, which seemed to be doing well in prior years, export earnings amounted to US$88.3 million, 29.8 percent or US$37.4 million below the level in 2015, due to a decrease in the volume exported and a decline in the average export price. Export volume decreased by 8.9 percent or 24,728 metric tonnes from 276,895 metric tonnes to 252,167 metric tonnes. The average export price declined by 22.9 percent to US$350.1 per metric tonne.
With regard to timber export receipts, this area totaled US$19.4 million, 17.3 percent below the value for the corresponding period in 2015, owing to lower export volumes. Export volume was 30.1 percent lower at 52,530 cubic metres. Earnings from other timber exports decreased by US$3.8 million or 16.7 percent while plywood exports decreased by US$0.3 million.
Like its sister revenue earners, bauxite export receipts amounted to US$46.3 million, 13.1 percent or US$7.0 million below the value for the corresponding period in 2015, due to a decrease in the average export price for bauxite. Export volume increased by 6.6 percent or 45,591 metric tonnes to 739,390 metric tonnes. The average export price decreased by 18.4 percent from US$76.8 to US$62.7 per metric tonne.
While the statistics speak for themselves, it really should be noted that the worrying decline in the export performance of our revenue earners does require urgent attention from the nation’s policy leaders. After all, if left unabated , it can have serious economic shifts and implications for all.