Guyana Table of Contents
Guyana's largest import categories in 1989 were capital goods (mostly machinery) and fuel, followed by other intermediate and consumer goods. The United States supplied about 30 percent of Guyana's merchandise imports, including most machinery and industrial inputs. A surge in imports of capital goods in the late 1980s may have reflected the rebuilding of the bauxite and sugar industries. In 1990 imports amounted to US$250 million.
For most of the 1980s, the largest import category by far was fuel and lubricants; Guyana made special arrangements with its oilrich neighbors to obtain fuel. Trinidad and Tobago supplied most of Guyana's oil until the mid-1980s, when Guyana fell far behind on its payments. In 1985 the two nations entered into a barter arrangement under which Guyana received oil in exchange for rice. But that agreement broke down within the year, and trade between Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana dropped off. Guyana also had a barter arrangement with Venezuela starting in 1986. Guyana shipped almost one-third of its bauxite (540,000 tons) to Venezuela in 1987 in exchange for fuel. This barter arrangement was essential for Guyana, which had almost no access to credit after the country slipped into arrears on debt to major creditors. But bartering had its drawbacks. In 1989, for example, Guyana suffered recurring fuel shortages when it failed to deliver bauxite shipments to Venezuela.
Data as of January 1992