Cuba’s trade surplus declined by over 40% in 2015

Cuba reported a decline in exports and imports by total 4.2 billion USD in 2015, as well as decrease in trade surplus by 1.6 billion USD (40%) amid lower commodity prices and the crisis in Venezuela. Cuba restructure much of its foreign debt in recent years, but suppliers and joint venture partners say the country fails to pay on time.

The data of the National Statistics Office show that last year exported goods and services of the country worth 14.9 billion USD, while imports amounted to 12.6 billion USD. For comparison, in the previous year the exports worth was about 17.8 billion USD, and imports worth at 13.9 billion USD.

Despite the growth in revenues from tourism and telecommunications, the exported goods decreased by 1.5 billion USD, and revenues from services offered abroad decreased by 1.3 billion USD.

The President of Cuba Raul Castro said in June that lower commodity prices negatively impacting on the export of nickel, refined petroleum products and sugar. Also the sale of professional services in countries such as Venezuela and Angola decrease significantly. Castro announced a decline in oil supplies from Venezuela too.

The expectations of the government are the Cuban economy to grow by only 1% in 2016 compared with growth of 4% an year ago. Some Cuban economists even do not expect growth.

The collapse in oil prices affects Cuba under the terms of the oil deal with Venezuela. Cuba gets oil and in return sends Cuban specialists in Venezuela. About 30,000 doctors and nurses plus another 10,000 professionals from other sectors of the economy are sent in Venezuela.

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