BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Oct. 31, 2019– The SIB reported that Belize exported only a little over $35 million worth of products in September 2019, “down 7 percent or $2.6 million from the $37.7 million” in September 2018. Sugar exports were down $1.2 million, from $20.7 million in September 2018 to $19.5 million in September 2019; sales of citrus products were down $1.1 million, from $3.6 million to $2.5 million; and the value of banana exports was down $0.6 million, from $6.6 million in September 2018 to $6 million in 2019.
Higher prices for lobster products led to an increase of $0.1 million in earnings for marine exports, from $3.1 million to $3.2 million. Red kidney beans also showed a slight improvement, with September 2019 sales of $1.2 million —$0.4 million more than the $0.8 million earned in September 2018.
Exports for Jan-Sept 2019 up 5.2% over same period in 2018
The SIB reported that Belize exported over $333 million worth of goods between January and September 2019, $16.5 million more than we exported in the same period last year. Sugar, the top earner, was up $22 million over the first three quarters of last year, going from $107.3 million in 2018 to $129.6 million in 2019. The value of banana exports increased by $4.6 million, from $53 million to $57.6 million, and the value of exported marine products, largely because of increased prices for lobster products, was up $2.4 million, from just above $26 million for Jan- Sept in 2018 to $28.4 million between Jan- Sept in 2019.
Citrus and petroleum exports continued sliding, with exports of citrus products down more than $18 million, from $64.2 million in 2018 to $45.6 million in 2019, and petroleum exports, still facing low world market prices, were down almost $3 million over the period, from $15.9 million to $12.9 million.
Sept. imports down 0.6% compared to Sept. imports in 2018
The SIB (Statistical Institute of Belize) reported that we imported $141.9 million worth of goods in September 2019, $0.9 million (0.6%) less than the $142.8 million worth of goods we imported in September 2018.
Imports in the ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ category declined by $5.3 million, from $34.6 million to $29.3 million, as the country imported less aviation and telecommunications equipment. Reduced purchases of corrugated steel rods and galvanized coils led to imports in the ‘Manufactured Goods’ category dropping by $2.6 million, from $20.6 million to $18 million; lower world market prices for bunker C fuel and less imports of the product helped cause the ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ category to do down from $21.3 million in September 2018 to $19.3 million in September 2019; and decreased purchases of cigarettes and hard liquors were major factors in imports in the ‘Beverages and Tobacco’ category declining from $3.2 million in September 2018 to $2.2 million in September 2019.
More imports of cigarettes, tennis shoes and handbags led to an increase of $4.4 million, from $21 million to $25.4 million in the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ category; more imports of lard and margarine helped push up expenditure in the ‘Food and Live Animals’ category by $1.7 million, from $15.1 million to $16.8 million; and imports of shrimp feed, hard wood and slot machines were the story behind the $1.6 million increase in expenditure in the ‘Export Processing Zones’, from $1.5 million in September 2018 to $3.1 million in September 2019.
Belize’s Jan. – Sept. 2019 imports up 2.8% over Jan. – Sept. imports 2018
The SIB (Statistical Institute of Belize) reported that Belize imported $1.4 billion worth of goods between January and September this year, which is 2.8% or $39.2 million more than we imported in the same period last year.
In the 9-month period, increased purchases of diesel and kerosene helped push imports in the ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ category up by $16.5 million, from $203.8 million to $220.3 million; greater imports of metal structures, ceramic tiles, carton boxes and vehicle tires helped push imports in the ‘Manufactured Goods’ category up almost $14 million, from $180.3 million to $194.3 million; the ‘Crude Materials’ category saw larger purchases of treated pine lumber, pasture grass seeds and calcium sulphates and went up from $21.2 million to $25.3 million; more purchases of clothing and footwear pushed imports into the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ from $225.9 million to $239.2 million; and the ‘Food and Live Animals’ category was up $7 million, from $162.1 million to $169.1 million, because of increased imports of lard (shortening), powdered milk and margarine.
We imported more fertilizers and PVC pipes, and as a result the ‘Chemical Products’ category rose from $128.6 million to $132.2 million; we imported more soy and coconut oils and the ‘Oils and Fats’ category went up from $12.7 million to $14.6 million; and the value of imports in the ‘Beverages and Tobacco’ category, with more imports of alcoholic beverages and supplemental nutrition drinks, went from $27.9 million to almost $29 million.
In the ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ category, imports of telecommunications equipment and fiber optic cables during the 9-month period decreased more than $10 million, from $296.3 million to $285.4 million; less imports of surveying equipment and light/lighting fixtures led to a decline in the ‘Other Manufactures’ category, from $112.8 million to $105.6 million; and the ‘Designated Processing Areas’ category was down $3.8 million, from $29.4 million to $25.6 million, due to decreased imports of parts for food-processing machinery.