Published On: Wed, Oct 16th, 2013

Export containers increased

Stanley PalmWILLEMSTAD - In the first half of this year, exports of containers increased compared to last year, in weight (tonnage) expressed by 9 percent from 64,761 to 70,801. Nevertheless, the 2013 level is well below the 73,392 of 2011. This is according to numbers from the Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA). Expressed in numbers of containers, these figures are slightly different and the growth in the first six months of this year is 7 percent compared to a year earlier, but the overall picture is very similar: 2013 is better than 2012, but worse than 2011.

The figures were provided by Minister Stanley Palm of Economic Development, who took office mid this year as Minister. The statistics shed light on an improvement in the first half of this year for the export and then especially tourism (an increase of stay over tourism by 7 percent, although the tourist accommodation with a marginal growth of 1 percent was virtually unchanged). But domestic consumption, investment and production stayed generally behind and showed in most cases even negative growth.

So the private consumption measured, on the basis of unloaded containers (for the period January to May), a lot less: 6 percent in the minus in terms of numbers of containers and even 11 percent negative in terms of tonnage. Consumer loans increased by only 1 percent, but adjusted for inflation it can be concluded that there was a decrease in consumption.

The same can be seen in terms of private investment, which the marketing of cement blocks and concrete is taken as an indication: a decrease respectively of 2 percent (cement blocks) and even 7 percent (concrete). It is noteworthy that in his presentation, Minister of Palm indicates that corporate loans and credits are up 15 percent, but probably these are loan to cover operating costs and not for investments.

Based on the developments in consumption, investment (both private and public), the exports and imports, are calculated that the overall production has dropped by 1 percent. This is further supported by the decrease of water and electricity for commercial purposes, in each instance two percent negative.

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