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Imports Up 14%, Domestic Exports Up 66.4%

The Statistical Institute of Belize says that Belize’s imports for the month of October are valued at one hundred and sixty-eight point eight million dollars, an increase of fourteen percent or twenty point seven million dollars when compared to October 2016.  Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II of the Statistical Institute of Belize, tells us more.


Tiffany Vasquez – Statistician II

“Here January to October of 2017 Belize’s imports we valued at $1.5 billion dollars. This was a decrease of 4.1% or $64.6 million when compared to January to October of 2016. Marked decreases across four categories; machinery and transport equipment, other manufacturers, food and live animals and export processing zones drew up overall imports over the January to October 2017 period. These were partially offset by increases in spending on mineral fuels and lubricants, chemical products and manufactured goods. The machinery and transport equipment category saw the period’s most significant decline; falling by more than 20% or $18 million dollars to $305 million as the country imported fewer telecommunications parts and four-cylinder vehicles. Imports within the other manufacturer’s category dropped by $11million dollars to $136 million owing to fewer purchases of pre-fabricated buildings and plastic bottles. Furthermore, the importation of food and live animals also diminished by $11 million dollars over the period to $179 million as the country bought less lard, soybean meal and coffee over the January to October 2016 period. When compared to January to October of 2016 imports destined for the export processing zones fell by $9 million dollars to $31 million with the gaming machines and wood cleaners being among the top decreased items. Providing the most noteworthy offset for imports within the mineral fuels and lubricants category which grew by 19% or $29 million to $181 million. As higher world market prices drove greater spending on all main imported fuels.”

Belize receives most of its imports from the United States of America.

Tiffany Vasquez – Statistician II

“That country stood as Belize’s most significant source imports. More than half of all machinery and transport equipment imported into the country came from America. With the U.S. also being the source of almost all Belize’s food imports. Imports from Central America accounted for 15% or $231 million dollars of total imports. Over ¼ of all imported chemical products came from that region which included fertilizers and medical supplies. Roughly 11% or $168 million dollars of all imported goods came from Mexico. With that country supplying Belize with almost 30% of its manufactured goods such as construction materials. Additionally another 11% originated from China with almost 60% of all goods within the other manufactures category coming from that country; this included personal and household items. Now let’s look at the path Belize’s imports have taken over the years 2010-2017 for the January to October period. Generally, since 2010-2015 imports have trended up only to have begun their descent in 2016. While imports increased across most commodity categories from 2011-2015 a drop in imports destined for the export processing zones, low fuel prices and decreased goods meant for the commercial free zones drove the imports down in 2016 by 4%. From January to October of 2017 imports fell roughly by another 4% when compared to that same period last year.”

Meanwhile, the total value of Belize’s domestic exports for the month of October, stood at thirty-seven point one million dollars, when compared to the same period for last year which stood at twenty-two point three million dollars, an increase of sixty-six point four percent or fourteen point eight million dollars. The total domestic exports for the period January to October 2017, stood at four hundred and thirteen million dollars, an increase of thirteen point two percent or forty-eight point one million dollars.  Sugar is the country’s most significant export earner.

Tiffany Vasquez – Statistician II

“Moving on to domestic exports, total domestic exports for the period of January to October 2017 was valued at $413 million dollars. This was an increase of 13.2% or $48.1 million when compared to January to October of 2016. The overall positive performance of Belize’s domestic exports was primarily due to a surge in earnings from the country’s top commodity, sugar. Strong sales of Banana was also pivotal in the periods increase this was accompanied by minimal improvements in exports of marine products and an uptick in crude petroleum revenues. Exports of citrus products, on the other hand, decreased over the period. As Belize’s chief export commodity sugar alone accounted for 35% of total exports benefiting greatly from higher prices on the world market, a 23% increase in exported volumes of sugar prompted nearly a 40% or a $40.5 million dollar gross in earning to $143 million for the January to October 2017 period. Also greater exported volumes of Banana gave rise to a net increase of 16.7% as earnings from that commodity grew by $10.1 million dollars to $70.5 million over the period. When compared to January to October of 2016 exports of marine products did slightly better in that same period this year. As earnings went up by a little over $1 million dollars to $31.7 million due mostly to a spike in lobster tail exports. Notwithstanding a 20% drop in exported volumes of crude petroleum earnings, earnings for that commodity rose by a negligible $2 million dollars as prices for that commodity continued to be higher than it was last year.”

Belize is a part of CARICOM, therefore, it is noteworthy to mention that exports to CARICOM for October stood at ten point six million dollars.