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Imports up by 7.5%

Imports are up 7.5 percent and domestic exports are up 14 percent for July. For tonight’s newscast we will concentrate on Imports. From January to July 2018, the United States was the country from which we imported the most. 42 percent of Imports valuing 462 million dollars came from the US. Statistical Institute of Belize’s statistician, Tiffany Vasquez said the other top sources of imports were from Central America, China and Mexico.

Statistical Institute of Belize’s statistician, Tiffany Vasquez : “For the period January to July of 2018 Belize imports were valued at 1.1 billion dollars. This was an increase of 3.9% or $40.4 million when compared to imports of January to July of 2017. When imports were categorized manufactured goods and commodities classified as other manufacturers together made up 21% of all imported goods into the country while imports of Machinery and transport equipment alone accounted for 20% of total imports. Goods destined for the Commercial Free Zones and Export Processing Zones together comprised 18% of all imports. 15% of all imported goods were mineral fuels and lubricants and 12% were food and live animals. All other goods combined made up 14% of total imports. Upon deeper analysis of changes and imports it was observed that minerals, fuels and lubricants which accounted for 15% of total imports was the primary contributor to the overall growth in imports as that category rose by almost 23% or 29 million dollars to 158 million as the country spent considerably more on imported fuels going to higher world market prices. In addition imports into the Commercial Free Zones which comprised 16% of all imports into the country went up by 14 million dollars to $176 million due to spike imports of handbags and clothing in the first seven months of the year. Accounting for a sizable 27% of total imports Machinery and transport equipment rose markedly by $11 million to $222- $223 million as the country imported more telecommunications equipment, vehicles and food processing machines over the period. Furthermore Belize imported noticeably more food in January to July of this year than it did for that same period last year. For the food and live animals category grew by 6 million dollars to a little over 130 million with increased purchases of a variety of grocery items and wheat seeds. Despite the overall increase in imports some community categories did decline notably over the period. Worthy of mention were decreased imports within the other manufactures and manufactured goods categories which fell by a combined 10 million dollars to 224 million as the period saw less imports of laboratory plastics, prefabricated steel buildings and ceramic tiles. Among other goods which constituted 14% of all imports, purchases of crude materials fell by 7 million dollars to 16 million according to a drop in Pine Lumber and grass seeds while diminished imports of antibiotics, fertilizers and herbicides drove purchases of chemical products down by 5 million to 104 million.”

The US supplied Belize with 61 percent of all machinery and transport equipment into the country and 44 percent of the food imports in July, 2018.