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Imports up 1.9 %, Exports down 35.6%

The total value of imports for the first five months of 2019 stood at seven hundred and seventy-one point eight million dollars. Meanwhile, the total imports for the month of May were valued at one hundred and sixty-nine point four million dollars, this was an increase of 1.9% or $3.1 million from imports for May 2018, which totalled one hundred and sixty-six point three million dollars.  Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II of the Statistical Institute of Belize gave a breakdown of the different categories of imports.

Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II of the Statistical Institute of Belize: “For the period increased imports were observed across a number of categories. The largest of which stemmed from the Mineral, Fuels and Lubricants category. Imports of Mineral Fuels and Lubricants which stood at 16% of total imports rose by $12.7 million to $119.9 million. Going, for the most part, the greater quantities of diesel and kerosene imports. Manufactured goods which accounted for 14% of all imports also grew sizeably over the period with heightened imports of iron and sealed structures, carton boxes, corrugated sealed bars, and ceramic tiles. That category increased by $12.3 million to $108.5 million over the period. While a rise in food imports led to a $5.2 million growth in the food and live animals category to $95.8 million. A variety of grocery items including lard, shortening, soups and baby formulas were among the increased items. The categories of chemical products and crude materials which together made up 10%of total imports went up by $4.7 million to $84.2 million on account of larger purchases of fertilizers, pine lumber and wooden polls over the period. Notwithstanding the overall increase in imports a few categories experienced notable declines over the period. The Machinery and Transport equipment category which comprises a significant twenty percent of all imports dropped by $6.5 million to $155.3 million as the period saw reduced importation of telecommunications equipment inclusive of fiber optic cables and farming equipment such as tractors to name a few.”

Meanwhile, exports were down by 35.6 % for the month of May. The total exports for the first five months stood at one hundred and seventy-six point eight million dollars, a decrease of 6.4% or twelve million dollars when compared to the same period last year.

Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II of the Statistical Institute of Belize: “For the period of January to May 2019 Belize’s exports were valued at $176.8 million. This was a decrease of %6.4 or a drop of a little over $12 million when compared to January to May of 2018. For the period, export earnings declined for three of the five major commodities, namely: citrus products, crude petroleum, and sugar. Export revenues from bananas and marine products, however, increased over the five year period. Earnings from citrus exports dropped substantially by almost twenty-nine percent or $11.9 million to $29.4 million due primarily to reduce the exports of orange concentrate along with diminished sales of orange oil over the period. Revenues from crude petroleum exports within the period January to May decreased by $9.9 million to $6 million going for the most part to scheduling differences for shipments of this commodity between last year and this year, of note with reported exports of crude petroleum in June of this year, future comparisons between last year and this year should yield a smaller margin of change for this commodity.”

The majority of the products were exported to the United Kingdom.//////