BELIZE CITY, Wed. Dec. 19, 2018– Latest reports from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) are that Belize’s imports for the month of November are up 7.2% over November last year, and the overall figures for the first eleven months of this year show that Belize’s imports are up 5.9% when compared to the period January-November 2017.
Statistics showed that total imports for November 2018 were valued at $165.6 million, an increase of $11.1 million over the $154.5 million worth of goods imported in November 2017. The SIB said that purchases of minerals, fuels and lubricants contributed the most to the increase, and this was “mainly due to the fact that there was a sizeable purchase of diesel fuel made during the month, while there was none imported in November of last year.”
The SIB report on imports in November 2018 stated the following:
During the month of November 2018, Belize’s imported goods were valued at $165.6 million, up 7.2 percent or $11.1 million from the $154.5 million imported in November of 2017.
A substantial growth in the ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ category was the primary contributor to increased imports for the month. That category rose sharply by almost 66 percent, from $13.1 million in November 2017 to $21.7 million in November 2018, mainly due to the fact that there was a sizeable purchase of diesel fuel made during the month, while there was none imported in November of last year. Goods destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and ‘Manufactured Goods’ also rose markedly in the eleventh month of this year. Imports into the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ went up by $5.3 million, from $30.2 million to $35.5 million, due largely to higher purchases of cigarettes, footwear and clothing, while heightened imports of galvanized and galvalume steel coils, along with ceramic tiles drove imports of ‘Manufactured Goods’ up by $2.7 million, from $20.2 million to $22.9 million.
However, in spite of the overall increase in imports for the month, minor decreases were noted within the commodity categories of ‘Other Manufactures’, ‘Chemical Products’ and ‘Food and Live Animals’. Smaller imports of metal office furniture, adhesive labels and prefabricated steel buildings led to a reduction in the ‘Other Manufactures’ category from $14.2 million in November of last year to $12.5 million in November 2018, while decreased purchases of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides resulted in a $1.4 million drop in the importation of ‘Chemical Products’, from $14.7 million to $13.3 million. Less was also spent on food imports in November 2018 as compared to November 2017, and as a result the ‘Food and Live Animals’ category declined by $1.4 million, from $18.6 million to $17.2 million.
The numbers for January-November 2018 show that we imported 5.9% more merchandize in that period than we did in January-November 2018. The increase in imports, which amounted to $98.1million, was mostly attributed to a rise in the cost of fuel on the world market, and greater purchases of vehicles and telecommunications equipment.
The SIB report stated the following about imports in the first eleven months of the year:
Merchandise imports for the period January to November 2018 totaled $1.8 billion, representing a 5.9 percent or $98.1 million increase from the same eleven-month period last year.
Of all commodity categories, imports of ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’, ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ and items meant for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ recorded the most significant increases over the period, resulting in a combined growth of more than $100 million compared to the first eleven months of 2017. The ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ category, which saw the greatest increase of the three, rose by $55.6 million from $199.8 million in 2017 to $255.4 million in 2018, owing to the higher cost of fuel on the world market.
Imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ went up from $339.1 million to $363.5 million, as the country imported more vehicles, telecommunications equipment and aviation equipment in January to November of 2018 than it did during that same period last year. Imports into the ‘Commercial Free Zones’, grew from $276.5 million in 2017 to $297.2 million in 2018, which was mostly due to larger purchases of bags, clothing and cigarettes.
These considerable increases were partially offset by some notable decreases within the categories of ‘Other Manufactures’ and ‘Crude Materials’ during the month. Reduced imports of laboratory plastics, prefabricated steel buildings and medical equipment, drove the ‘Other Manufactures’ category down by $11.4 million over the period, falling from $150.2 million in November 2017 to $138.8 million in November 2018, while fewer imports of utility poles, pasture seeds and asphalt, gave rise to a $5.4 million drop in the category of ‘Crude Materials’, which fell from $32.1 million to $26.7 million compared to the same period last year.