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SIB says imports down by 8.4% for July

The Statistical Institute of Belize says that Belize’s imports for the month of July was valued at $154.1 million dollars, down by 8.4% or $14 million dollars.  This compares with last July imports which was $168.1 million dollars.  Stephanie Vasquez, Statistician II of Statistical Institute of Belize, tells us more.

Tiffany Vasquez – Statistician II

“For the period January to July 2017, Belize’s imports were valued at $1.05 billion dollars, this is a decrease of 5.3% or $59 million when compared to January to July 2016. The following details the most outstanding changes across various categories of imports. Falling imports within the category of Machinery and Transport Equipment was the primary cause of the overall decline in imports, that category dropped by almost a quarter or $68 million to $212 million with items such as Telecommunication parts, vehicle and agricultural equipment being in greatest decline. Additionally, imports of food and live animals fell by $15 million to $125 million as the country imported less wheat seeds and coffee over the period. Good destined for Commercial Free Zone and Export Processing Zones dropped by a combine $12 million dollars to $184 million owing to less imports of handbags, cigarettes, and gaming machines. On the other hand, the periods most significant offset came from the importation of minerals, fuels and lubricants as higher prices on the world market drove that category up by 21% or $22 million to $129 million recorded for the January to July 2017 period.”

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

Tiffany Vasquez – Statistician II

“Of total imports, 36% or 373 Million came from the US, making that country the largest source of Belize’s imports. Of note over 60% of all machinery and transport equipment imported into Belize came from America, with 44% of imported food also coming from that country. 16% or 166 Million of total imports came from Central America with the surrounding region supplying Belize with a quarter of its chemical products such as fertilizers. Within the period, 11% or $117 Million worth of goods came from Mexico, the source of a quarter of Belize’s manufactured goods such as contruction material. 100 Million or 10% of Belize’s imports originated from China with 27% of imported goods within the other manufacturers category coming from that country. Such goods include electronics and household items.”

Meanwhile, the total value of Belize’s domestic exports for the month of July 2017 stood at $28.4 million, when compared to the same period for last year which stood at $30 million, a decrease by 5.3 percent or $16 million dollars. The total domestic exports for the period January to July 2017, stood at $304.7 million dollars, an increase of 16.4% or $42.9 million dollars.  Sugar is the country’s most significant export earner.

Tiffany Vasquez – Statistician II

“Accounting for over a third of Belize’s domestic exports, sugar remains the country’s most significant export earner, having a 37% increase in exported volume.  Higher prices, particularly on the European market drove earnings for that commodity up by 61% or $41.1 Million, to $109 Million for the January to July, 2017 period. Within the period, Belize’s banana exports performed well, growing by 11% or 4.7 Million to 46.7 million. While there was negligible change in the volume of crude petroleum exports for January to July 2016 and 2017, earnings for that commodity went up by 32% or 4 Million to 16.5 Million, the result of favourable world market prices. Marine exports raised by 2 Million to 21 Million within the period.  Despite having doubled from 3.2 Million to 6.4 million, shrimp export remained low, hence lobster tail is now the largest export at 7.6 Million within the marine category.  Moving on to citrus exports, despite having strong sales in orange oil, the season’s late start resulting in diminished orange concentrate export led to a 17% or $12.6 Million drop in citrus earnings to 62.8 Million for the January to July 2017 period.”

Belize being a member of CARICOM, therefore, it is noteworthy to mention that earnings from exports to CARICOM increased from $6.3 million dollars to $49 million dollars for the period January to July 2017.