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Belize imported more goods than it exported in April

Belize continues to import more goods than it is exporting. That is what the numbers are showing for the month of April, according to the Statistical Institute of Belize. The total imports for that month are valued at over 150 million dollars, an increase of 6.5 percent or over nine million dollars when compared to the same month last year. The ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ category recorded the largest increase for the month. The category of ‘Food and Live Animals’ saw a notable decrease for the month, due to less imports of wheat seeds and various food items. An overall look at the first four months in imports, January to April, saw a 1.3 percent increase compared to 2017. Turning to domestic exports, April saw a decrease of 21.9 percent or over seven million dollars compared to exports for April in 2017. According to the SIB, sugar contributed significantly to the overall decline in export earnings, reflected in a sharp reduction in sales to the United Kingdom. There were some small increases in some exports however. The SIB reports that orange concentrate rose a little over a million dollars and marine exports doubled in April. According to the figures, banana sales saw their first increase since the start of the year. Merchandise exports for the first four months of 2018 totaled $132.7 million, down almost 20 percent.