External trade stats indicate increases in imports and domestic imports
The Statistical Institute of Belize reports that both imports and domestic exports were on the rise. Compared to last January, domestic exports jumped 22 percent and simultaneously, imports were up eleven percent when the two periods are compared. The SIB says that total imports for January 2023 were valued at 212.3 million dollars, 21.8 million dollars more than January 2022. The SIB reports increases in machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, chemical products, beverages and tobacco, and food and live animals among others. However, there was a drop in the commercial-free zone category by 11.3 million. Last year, earnings were 42.5 million dollars and this year, it was only at 31.2 million dollars, a drop of 11.3 million dollars – and that’s due to smaller imports of clothing, tennis shoes and handbags. On the export side, the SIB says that there was a marked fall in revenues from bananas in the first month of the year. Last January, earnings were at 5.7 million dollars but this past January, revenues were only 2.4 million dollars. Citrus also saw a fall of about half a million dollars, which was a result of a drop in the sales of orange concentrate. Earnings from crude petroleum to less than 100 thousand dollars. However, the SIB says that earnings from neighboring Mexico grew sharply to more than 1.5 million dollars this year, thanks to increased exports of cattle and crude soybean oil.