Residents imported $288.6 million of goods in the first quarter of this year, 2.4% less than during the same period in 2020.

While the value of non-petroleum products increased slightly (0.7%), a 27.1% decrease in the imported value of petroleum products resulted in an overall decline, the Economics and Statistics Office reported.

Although the price of motor, aviation and diesel fuel had jumped year-on-year, the lower demand for mineral fuel more than offset the cost increase.

Commodities, non-classified transactions and non-monetary gold, saw a significant increase (145%). The value of gold imports alone increased by $5.5 million.

Imports of cork, wood, non-ferrous metals, plastics and chemical imports also grew, together with the demand for pharmaceutical products.

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Other categories such as food and live animals, beverages and tobacco, some manufactured goods, oils, fats and waxes declined compared to one year ago.

Of the food items, importers brought in less meat, vegetables and fruit, cereal and dairy products to the islands between January and March.

Furniture imports also dropped.

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