BELIZE CITY, Mar. 5, 2020– Data from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) shows that Belize imported goods valuing $160.8 million in January 2019, $1 million less than the $161.8 million worth of goods that was imported in January 2018.
An increase in world market prices saw imports in the ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ category go up by $4.2 million during the month, from $18 million in January 2019 to $22.2 million in January 2020; larger imports of handbags, cigarettes, and clothing saw imports for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ go from $24.8 million in January 2019 to $26.9 million in January 2020; and more purchases of gold jewelry, steel structures, electric lamps and lighting fixtures saw the value of imports in the ‘Other Manufactures’ category increase by $1.6 million.
Imports in the ‘Food and Live Animals’ category declined by approximately $4.9 million, imports in the ‘Chemical Products’ category fell by approximately $2.3 million, imports in the ‘Designated Processing Areas’ category fell by $1.1 million, and imports in the ‘Manufactured Goods’ category decreased by $1.1 million.
Domestic exports for Jan 2020 down 59.7% compared to imports for Jan 2019
Belize exported just over $16 million worth of goods in January 2020, $23.8 million less than the $39.8 million worth of goods that was exported in January 2019.
Revenues from sugar fell by $16.1 million, from $17.4 million in January of 2019 to $1.3 million in January 2020; crude petroleum made no earnings in January 2020, compared with $6 million in earnings from exports in 2019; earnings from citrus products fell by $0.3 million, from $2.7 million to $2.4 million, and earnings from banana exports declined minimally.
The fishing industry was just about the only export earner that didn’t decline in January 2020. The SIB says “earnings from marine products rose by $0.6 million, from $3.7 million in January 2019 to $4.3 million in January 2020, due to improved sales of lobster products and conch, with lobster benefiting from higher world market prices while conch saw a substantial increase in quantities exported.”