The latest figures from the bauxite-alumina industry reveal that in January 2014 crude bauxite production fell by 15% to 390,553 MT while alumina production fell by 3% to 164,449 MT when compared with figures from December 2013.
Production of crude bauxite for January 2014 reflects a mere 1% increase over January 2013 and despite the month-over-month decline for alumina production it represents a 13% increase over the corresponding period in 2013.
Additionally, alumina production for January 2014 represents an increase of 4% over January 2012 however crude bauxite for January 2014 declined by 5% when compared to January 2012.
The bauxite-alumina industry contributes significantly to the Jamaican economy, apart from the provision of jobs, the sector is ranked as our third highest foreign exchange earner. The trade of the vital resource accounts for more than 50% of the country’s export.
Under the four-year Extended Fund Facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the GOJ has committed to the reduction of the debt-to-gdp ratio by 2020 which is currently approximately 140 % of GDP. The foreign exchange earned by the bauxite-alumina industry is a key component in the realization of this target and also improving the deficit in the balance of payments’ current account.