Guyana's economic situation remains constrained by its difficulties in external payments, although exports are beginning to respond to recent adjustments in the exchange rate. In 1991, the current account deficit amounted to 52 percent of the GDP. Guyana's external debt in early 1998 was US$1.65 billion. Interest payments on external debt took up 20 percent of export earnings in 1998.
In 1991, total exports increased by 17 percent largely because of better results in the bauxite, sugar, and rice sectors. Imports, however, increased by the same amount, reflecting an increase in the level of investment, particularly in the public sector and general recovery of the economy. By 2000, exports were valued at US$570 million and imports at US$660 million.
Principal commodities exported in 1996 were sugar, US$150.7 million; gold, US$105.9 million; rice, US$93.7
|Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Guyana|
|SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.|
million; and bauxite, US$86.0 million. Other important exports include shrimp, timber, and rum. The main export markets in 1998 were the United States (25 percent), Canada (24 percent), the United Kingdom (19 percent), Netherlands Antilles (11 percent), and Jamaica (5 percent).
Most imports consist of capital goods (about 45 percent of the total in 1990) and intermediate goods (42 percent). Fuels and lubricants are the principal intermediate goods. Imports in 1998 came from the United States (28 percent), Trinidad and Tobago (21 percent), Netherlands Antilles (14 percent), the United Kingdom (7 percent), and Japan (8 percent).