Puerto Rico’s 3 Biggest Exports in Decline
SAN JUAN – As of March export prices for Puerto Rico’s three largest exports show declines for the year, Bureau of Labor Statistics data revealed Tuesday.
Total exports for Puerto Rico were more than $20.3 billion in 2015, the BLS said.
Export prices for pharmaceuticals and medicine manufacturing, the largest industry by trade on the island, decreased 4% since March 2015, and 2.4% from December to March. The sector was the largest in 2015, with a 68.9% share of total exports, or $14 billion.
“The overall decline in pharmaceutical and medicine prices resulted from a stronger dollar,” the BLS said.
Basic chemical manufacturing was the second largest export in 2015, with $2.5 billion in trade value, representing about 12.3% of total exports. Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing was the third largest export in 2015, with an 8.3% share of total exports and $1.4 billion in trade.
According to the BLS, prices for exports of basic chemicals dropped 10.3% in the past year. Exports for basic chemicals declined 4% between December and March. “Weak demand from foreign markets and falling oil prices contributed to lower prices for basic chemical exports,” the BLS explained.
The price index for exports of medical equipment and supplies decreased 0.8% in the past year. However, prices for medical equipment and supplies rose 0.1% for the first three months of 2016.