According to Statistician Tiffany Vasquez, Belize’s import bill has been steadily increasing primarily due to the war in Ukraine. Vasquez explains that in 2022, imports tripled the amount of exports.
Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II: “With the surge in global food prices the food and live animals category rose by 21% or almost $9 million dollars to $50.9 million as the country spent notably more on food items like wheat and margarine. Imports of chemical products like fertilisers and detergents are also heavily impacted by global prices causing this category to grow by almost 19% or $7.3 million dollars to $46.4 million. The categories of manufactured goods and other manufactures rose by a considerable 36% or $11 million dollars to $91.1 million due to increased spending on construction materials such as galvanised steel coils, corrugated steel rods and prefabricated buildings. The mineral fuels and lubricants category went up by 10% or $5.2 million dollars to $60.1 million the result of higher cost of fuel and greater imports of regular fuel. Also with larger imports of treated pine lumber the crude materials category grew by $3.3 million dollars while increased imports of cigarettes and alcoholic beverages led to a $1.1 million dollar increase in the beverages and tobacco category. The commercial free zones however saw a significant decrease in imports down 26% or $20.6 million dollars to $57.6 million a decrease that simply signifies a return to normal import levels as the year 2022 saw heightened demand for imported goods as the commercial free zones rebounded from the pandemic.”