General — 30 March 2019
Imports Up 6.8% in February 2019

Latest statistics released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) say that Belize imported nearly $146 million worth of goods in February 2019, an increase of $9.2 million (6.8%) over the $136.8 million worth of goods we imported in February 2018.

The SIB reported that “minerals and lubricants”, because of greater importation of diesel and kerosene,”surged by almost $9 million, from $17.5 million in February 2018 to $26.5 million in February 2019.”  The report states that imports in the category, Manufactured Goods, went up “by $3.9 million, from $17.4 million to $21.3 million, with increased purchases of corrugated steel rods, steel structures and tires”, the category, Chemical Products, saw an increase in imports “by $3.9 million, from $10.6 million in February 2018 to $14.5 million in February 2019, as the country bought more fertilizers, pipes and hoses in February of this year”, and the category, Other Manufactures, “grew from $9.7 million in February 2018 to almost $11 million in February 2019”, because of “larger purchases of metal structures and gold jewelry.”

The SIB said the categories, Food and Live Animals, Machinery and Transport Equipment, and Designated Processing Areas, saw decreased imports in February 2019. Food and Live Animals”declined from $16.6 million in February of last year to a little over $13 million in February 2019″, due to “reduced imports of wheat seeds, rice seeds and various food items.” There was a “$3.2 million drop in the Machinery and Transport Equipment category, from $30.9 million to $27.7 million, because of “smaller purchases of fiber optic cables, four-cylinder vehicles and diesel trucks”, and “imports destined for Designated Processing Areas went down by $1.4 million, from $3.8 million to $2.4 million, due to lessened purchases of items such as hoses, air conditioners and food processing machinery.”

Domestic Exports Up 13.4% in February 2019

The SIB reported an increase in earnings from sugar, bananas, and marine products in February 2019, over February 2018. In all, Belize’s receipts from domestic exports for the month was $25.5 million, “up 13.4 percent or a little over $3 million when compared to exports for February 2018, which were valued at $22.5 million.”

“Revenues from bananas went up by $1.6 million, from $4.9 million in February of 2018 to $6.5 million in February 2019, while earnings from sugar rose by $1.3 million, from $3.5 million to $4.8 million, because a small bulk shipment of sugar was included in this February’s exports, while there were no bulk shipments in February of last year,” the SIB report said.  The SIB report said that “increased exports of conch, along with improved sales of shrimp, whole lobsters and lobster meat compared to February of 2018,” pushed “earnings from marine products…from $3.2 million to $3.7 million.”

There was a decrease in exports of citrus concentrates in the month, which led to a slight fall in revenues from citrus products, “from a little over $6 million to $5.6 million,” the report said. A drop was also recorded for red kidney beans, which saw earnings fall “from $1.3 million in February 2018 to just above $0.3 million in February 2019.”

“Earnings from the European Union went up from $3.9 million in February 2018 to $6.2 million in February 2019, as a result of increased exports of bananas, coupled with the fact that all sales of grapefruit oil for the month were destined for the region, (and) revenues from Mexico declined markedly from $1.1 million to less than $0.03 million, as no lobster tails were exported to that country in February 2019,” the SIB reported.

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Deshawn Swasey

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