Today, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) briefed the public on different aspects of Belize’s economy. According to Statistician II, Tiffany Vasquez, imports have increased once again. She explained this increase in detail.
Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician: “If we look at imports over the past years for the period January to October, imports have been trending up. We have had a downturn for the years 2016 and 2017 but since then imports have been on the rise again. If we compare imports of 2010, which were valued at $1.1 billion, to imports of this year which stands at $1.6 billion that is a 46% increase. Now lets look at that $1.6 billion worth of imports in a bit more detail. For the period January to October of 2019 Belize’s imports were valued at $1.6 billion, this was an increase of 2% or $31.4 million when compared to January to October of 2018. Imports of manufactured goods which accounted for 13% of all goods brought into the country went up by $14.4 million to $218.5 million owing to higher purchases of items such as metal structures, ceramic tiles and vehicle tires. Minerals, fuels and lubricants which made up 15% of all imports rose by $13 million dollars to $246.7 million due mainly to larger imported quantities of both diesel and kerosene fuels. Imports into the commercial free zones, which comprised 17% of total imports grew by $8.3 million dollars to $269.9 million as a result of greater purchases of mostly articles of clothing and tennis shoes. Imports of crude materials which constituted only 2% of total imports surged by almost 25% or $6 million dollars to $30.2 million as the country imported greater quantities of treated pine lumber along with fruit seeds over the period.”
Despite an increase in imports, there were some decreases in some categories.
Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician: “In spite of the overall increase in imports three categories in particular declined markedly over the ten month period; imports of goods classified as other manufacturers which were 7% of all imports dropped by $6.1 million to $120.2 million due to decreased purchases of items such as surveying equipment along with lamps and lighting fixtures. Imports into the designated processing areas, formerly the export processing zones which were 2% of total imports fell by $5.7 million to $27.6 million. Parts for food processing machinery, filtering equipment and shrimp feed were noted to be among the items in greatest decline. Lastly on account of a drop in imports of mainly fertilizers and herbicides, imports of chemical products which made up 9% of all imports over the period went down by $3.1 million dollars to $146.4 million.”
Statistician Vasquez also delved into Belize’s exports.
Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician: “If we looked at our domestic exports over the years for the January to October period it is clear that exports have been trending down. After exports peaked in 2011 we more or less maintained that level of export earnings until 2013, after exports declined rapidly bottoming out in 2016, rebounding in 2017 only to fall again in 2018. Now we are at a point where we see a small increase. Now lets see why we had that increase. For the period January to October of 2019 Belize’s domestic exports were valued at $359.1 million dollars, this was an increase of 2.3% or $7.9 million when compared to January to October of 2018. This mere 2.3% increase masks the fact that there were significant changes across domestic exports over the period particularly in exports of sugar, citrus products and crude petroleum; also though less extreme improved export earnings were noted for bananas, red kidney beans and in marine products over the ten month period. Exported quantities of sugar grew significantly by 25% resulting in a substantial revenue increase of $22.9 million dollars or $132.3 million for that commodity.”
We will have more on today’s conference in tomorrow’s newscast.