Jamaica - Country Commercial Guide
Chemicals and Related Products
Last published date:


Imports of chemicals and related products from the U.S. have been driven by demand for ethanol to satisfy Jamaica’s E10 fuel mandate and sodium hydroxide for the bauxite/alumina industry. Corn-based ethanol is currently imported from the United States and is blended into the gasoline to create the E10. There is also increasing demand for pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and jewelry. Growth in pharmaceuticals has been driven by increased access to healthcare through the government’s no-user fee policy and the establishment of a National Health Fund, an aging population, and the increased incidence of lifestyle diseases. Since chemicals and related products require a permit from the Ministry of Health, most U.S. investors enter the market through distributors or agents who are generally better equipped to navigate the regulatory environment. For further information prospective exporters can reach the Ministry of Health and Wellness at (876) 633-7145/6.

Table: Total Market Soze for Chemicals & Related Products ($ M)
Chemicals & Related Products ($ M)202020212022 
Total Exports353551
Total Imports571650780
Imports from the US245290349
Exchange Rates143.27151.62154.21

(Total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports); *N/A indicates no data are available

Source:  STATIN

Leading Sub-Sectors

Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) in aqueous solution (soda lye or liquid soda), bioethanol fuel and vaccines. Other prospects include medications for cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and respiratory diseases. Beauty products, jewelry, disinfectants, and agricultural chemicals also provide scope for growth.


Exporters to Jamaica will find growing opportunities for pharmaceuticals as the population ages and lifestyle diseases become more prevalent. Demand for pharmaceuticals could also be driven by increased subscription to the National Health Fund and free access to healthcare. The National Health Fund, the government entity responsible for sourcing and distributing products to the public health sector, is a major importer of pharmaceuticals.