In 2013 the value of imported goods into Bonaire was 165 million US dollars (120 million euros). This writes The Daily Herald. Nearly a quarter of this amount regards machinery and transport equipment. This share of import is comparable to that of the European part of the Netherlands. On Bonaire the import value of food, live animals, beverages and tobacco together comprise a quarter of the total import value.
For the European Netherlands this share of import is 10 per cent, but the European part of the Netherlands is far less dependent on this import because it also produces foodstuff and beverages.
In 2013 the total import value of Bonaire was two per cent lower than in 2012. The import of manufactured products in particular decreased.
The import value of mineral fuels into Bonaire comprises six per cent of the total. In the European Netherlands that is 25 per cent. Various refineries that use this type of fuel as raw material are located in the European Netherlands, whereas Bonaire does not have refineries.
Bonaire’s export of goods is modest. It mainly exports services. In 2013 the value of the export of goods was 14 million US dollars (10 million euros). The export value of goods from Bonaire was over 21 per cent higher than in 2012. The main increase occurred in food, live animals and inedible raw materials.
Most import goods arrive on Bonaire by ship and partly originate from the Netherlands and the United States. Usually Curaçao is the last stop before Bonaire. Because of the limited import into Bonaire and the lack of port installations to unload large container ships, many goods are transhipped on Curaçao from container ships onto smaller ships. Goods leaving Bonaire are often transported via Curaçao to among others the Netherlands and the other Dutch Caribbean islands.
Not only Bonaire but also Saba and St. Eustatius are special municipalities of the Netherlands. These islands are much smaller than Bonaire, both in terms of surface area and population. That difference in scale is also expressed in their import and export values. In 2013 the import value of Saba was 17 million US dollars (12 million euros) and Statia imported goods totalling a value of 41 million US dollars (30 million euros).
Like Bonaire these two islands are also strongly dependent on the import of goods. The import value per capita of these three islands is also similar. In 2013 the import value per capita was between six and eight thousand euros per capita. For the European Netherlands this value is 23 thousand euros. An important cause of this difference is that the Netherlands imports many products which serve as raw materials or auxiliary materials for industry. The export value per capita is negligible for all islands compared to that of the rest of the Netherlands.
Since the constitutional reforms as per 10-10-10 the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has been responsible for the statistics of the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Saba and Statia). For the calculation of data on international trade in goods (ITG) the methodology of the Netherlands is followed as closely as possible. This results in differences in the way the data on Bonaire’s import and export were established up to and including the reporting year 2009. Furthermore the change of status for Bonaire also resulted in certain structural economic changes. Trade with (for example) Curaçao was registered as import and export in 2012, whereas in 2008 this was registered as domestic purchases and sales. The import and export of Saba and Statia has not been published before. Registration of the import and export of these islands did not start until in the course of 2011 and 2012.