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SIB Report: 6.7% inflation, rise in imports, drop in exports

by Kory Leslie (Freelance Writer) BELIZE CITY, Thurs....

Imports and Exports up by 32.7% and 14.7%, respectively

GeneralImports and Exports up by 32.7% and 14.7%, respectively

by Charles Gladden

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Jan. 12, 2023

The report of the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) on external trade for January to November 2022 shows that there was an increase of imports, by 32.7%, and there was also an increase of exports, by 14.7%, over the same period in 2021.

In 2022, Belize imported $2.5 billion worth of goods, a $617.8 million increase over the same period last year, when total imports were valued at $1.892 billion. Largely because of higher world market prices for fuel, imports in the ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ category rose by 66% or $153.2 million, from $231.9 million in 2021 to $385.1 million in 2022. Imports by the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ increased by 43% or $115 million, from $267.4 million in 2021 to $382.5 million in 2022, due to larger imports of cigarettes, tennis shoes, and clothing. Imports in the ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ category rose by 36% or $131 million, from $363.4 million to $494.4 million, due to high-value purchases such as food processing machinery, four-cylinder vehicles, and aviation equipment.

Imports in the ‘Manufactured Goods’ category increased 19% or $57.6 million, from $310.9 million in 2021 to $368.5 million in 2022, while imports in the ‘Other Manufactures’ category grew $37.6 million during the period, from just under $143 million to $180.6 million.

The ‘Chemical Products’ category rose by 35% or $71 million over the period, from $203.4 million in 2021 to $275.1 million in 2022. The ‘Designated Processing Areas’ category increased by $12.5million, from $32.1 million to $44.6 million on account of bigger purchases of bleached chemical wood pulp, bottling machines, and shrimp feed.

Imports in the ‘Beverage & Tobacco’ category decreased, dropping by $13.8 million, from $60.5 million in 2021 to $46.7 million in 2022.

Domestic exports increased during the period by $58.7 million, from $400 million to $458.8 million.

Sugar exports increased by 18% or $24.6 million, from $133.5 million in 2021 to $158.1 million in 2022. Exports in the ‘Animal Feed’ category grew by 69% or $19 million, from $27.6 million to $46.6 million, as the country exported greater quantities of products at better prices. Marine exports increased by $3.5 million, from $46.3 million to $49.7 million, and crude petroleum exports increased by $2.1 million, from $1.2 million in 2021 to $3.3 million in 2022.

The value of banana exports dipped 10% or $8 million, from $83.5 million to $75.5 million, due to disease and rising production costs, and citrus exports fell by $1.3 million, from $35.9 million in 2021 to $34.7 million in the period.

While domestic exports to the European Union decreased by $5.3 million, it grew by $24.4 million to Central America, by $16.1million to CARICOM, by $8.2 million to the United States, by $5.5 million to Mexico, by $3.4 million to the United Kingdom, and by $5.7 million to other countries.

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