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Imports on the Decline; Sugar Exports Plunge and Citrus Shows Promise

The latest figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize show a marginal decrease in imports for the month of September. Belize imported goods valuing one hundred and sixty point three million dollars which represents a one point one percent decrease from the same period last year. The Export Processing Zones saw the sharpest decline in imports during the month of September falling from eleven million dollars in September 2015 to three point five million dollars in September 2016. Imports to the Commercial Free Zones grew by one third or seven million dollars. For the first nine months of this year, merchandise imports totaled one point five billion dollars, representing a two point three percent decrease from the same period last year. Belize’s domestic exports amounted to twenty one point four million dollars which is down by forty point six percent or fourteen point seven million dollars when compared to September of last year. The decrease is the result of declines in exports across most of the major commodities. Sugar exports plunged from eight point four million dollars in September, less than half a million dollars due primarily to changes in the scheduling of sugar shipments. Merchandise exports for the first nine months totaled three hundred and forty two point six million dollars which is down by ninety seven point seven million dollars. Citrus was the only major export to show an increase during the period.