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Monday, April 19, 2021
Home Highlights SIB report on Belize’s economic performance

SIB report on Belize’s economic performance

(The following is condensed from the SIB’s (Statistical Institute of Belize) October report)

Merchandize exports down 9.9% for first 10 months of the year, Jan.-Oct.

Merchandise exports for the period January to October 2020 totaled just over $325 million, down 9.9 percent or $35.9 million from the same period last year, when total domestic exports were valued at $360.9 million.

DECREASING CATEGORIES: Revenues from sugar exports fell $26.1 million or 20%, from $132.3 million in 2019 to $106.2 million in 2020; revenues from crude petroleum plunged 62%, from $12.9 million to $4.9 million; revenues from citrus exports went down 11% or $5.5 million, from $49.4 million in 2019 to $43.9 million in 2020; and, despite increased sales of lobster tails, exports of marine products declined by 8.5% or $3 million, from $35.3 million in 2019 to $32.3 million in 2020, as a result of decreased exports of conch, whole lobsters and lobster meat.

INCREASING CATEGORIES: Revenues from bananas went up 8% or $5.5 million, from $67 million in 2019 to $72.5 million in 2020; and earnings from molasses rose by $2.5 million, from $8.2 million in 2019 to $10.7 million in 2020.

Domestic exports down 5.5% in October

Total domestic exports for October 2020 amounted to $24.9 million, down by 5.5 percent or $1.4 million from the $26.3 million recorded for October of 2019.

DECREASING CATEGORIES: Revenues from marine products declined by one-fourth or $1.7 million, from $6.9 million in October 2019 to $5.2 million in October 2020, due to diminished sales of lobster tails and shrimp; sugar revenues dropped from $2.7 million to $1.8 million; earnings from citrus products went from $4.2 million to $4.1 million; earnings from bananas declined from $7.9 million in October 2019 to $7.6 million in October 2020; and there were no earnings from sales of red kidney beans, as opposed to October of last year, when red kidney bean sales generated $1.2 million.

INCREASING CATEGORIES: Earnings from sales of animal feed increased from $0.3 million in October of 2019 to $1.6 million in October 2020.

Imports Jan.-Oct. 2020 down 20.2%

The value of Belize’s imports for January to October 2020 was down by $328.5million, a 20.2% drop when compared to the same period in 2019.

DECREASING CATEGORIES: Imports in the ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ category plunged by 47%; imports for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ dropped by one-third or $89.3 million, from $269.9 million to $180.6 million, the result of a sharp decrease in imports of clothing and handbags over the period; imports in the ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ category fell by 20%; imports in the ‘Manufactured Goods’ category declined by 14%; purchases in the ‘Other Manufactures’ category were down by 19%; and purchases in the ‘Crude Materials’ category dropped 45%; also, imports in the ‘Designated Processing Areas’ fell from $27.6 million to $26.3 million, due for the most part to diminished imports of office furniture and shrimp feed.

INCREASING CATEGORIES: A spike in beer imports made the ‘Beverages and Tobacco’ category grow by $3.7 million, from $31.8 million in 2019 to $35.5 million in 2020; increased purchases of breakfast cereals, canned meats and margarine led to a $3.6 million rise in the ‘Food and Live Animals’ category, from $187.1 million in 2019 to $190.7 million in 2020; purchases in the ‘Oils and Fats’ category rose from $16.6 million in 2019 to more than $19 million in 2020, due to bigger imports of various types of cooking oils, including olive oil; and increased purchases of disinfectants, hand sanitizers, insecticides and herbicides resulted in a $1.2 million increase in the ‘Chemical Products’ category, from $146.4 million to $147.6 million.

Imports down 29.1% in October

The value of imports in October 2020 was $131.4 million, 29.1% or $53.9 million less than what was imported in October 2019.

DECREASING CATEGORIES: The most significant decreases were in ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, down 40%, ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’, down 65%, and goods destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’, down nearly 50%. The ‘Other Manufactures’ category was down by $4 million, from $14.6 million to $10.6 million; the ‘Manufactured Goods’ category decreased by $3.8 million, from $24.2 million to $20.4 million, and imports in the ‘Crude Materials’ category declined from $4.9 million in October 2019 to $1.3 million in October 2020, due mainly to a notable reduction in imports of treated pine lumber.

INCREASING CATEGORIES: Heightened purchases of fertilizers, disinfectants and hand sanitizers caused the ‘Chemical Products’ category to grow from $14.2 million in October 2019 to $17.3 million in October 2020, and the ‘Food and Live Animals’ category rose from almost $18 million during last October to $20.9 million in October 2020, due to increased imports of wheat, lard (shortening), powdered milk and various other food products.

Gross Domestic Product declines 13.2% in third quarter

The total value of goods and services produced within the country for the period July-September stood at $578.9 million, down 13.2% or $87.8 million from the $666.7 million produced in the third quarter of 2019. The greatest decreases in productivity were in the tertiary sector, because of the negative impacts of Covid-19. This contributed to a 20% contraction in taxes on products.

PRIMARY ACTIVITIES: The primary sector grew by 18% during the quarter. Sugarcane deliveries rose from 81.5 thousand metric tons in the third quarter of 2019 to 193.2 thousand metric tons delivered in the third quarter of 2020; citrus fruit deliveries increased from 0.8 thousand metric tons in quarter three of 2019 to 18 thousand metric tons produced in quarter three of 2020; banana production was up 12.8%, from 22.9 thousand metric tons to 25.9 thousand metric tons; livestock production declined by 8.1%; poultry production dropped by 13.3%; the fishing industry, boosted by a more than doubling of shrimp exports and a sizable increase in lobster tail exports, grew by 20.5%.

SECONDARY ACTIVITIES: Secondary activities increased by 5.3%. Sugar production was up by almost 60%; the ‘Electricity and Water’ industry grew by 24.3 percent; electricity generation rose by 32.8%, from 74.8 thousand megawatt hours to 99.3 thousand megawatt hours; water consumption decreased by 7.1%; the ‘Construction’ industry rose by 3.3%, as reflected by a 7.4% increase in building and construction loans; beverage production declined by 16.3%; fertilizer production was down 33.2%; flour production was down 5.2%; and crude petroleum extraction declined by 40.1%.

TERTIARY ACTIVITIES: The services sector contracted 18.6%, down by $79.8 million, from $429.9 million during the third quarter of 2019 to $350.1 million during the same period in 2020. The ‘Hotels and Restaurants’ industry was virtually dormant, recording a significant 98.3% decline; the ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade’ industry contracted by 21.4%; the ‘Transport, Storage and Communication’ industry declined 15.6%; and ‘Government Services’ declined by 0.6%.

For the first nine months of the year, the total value of goods and services produced within the country is estimated to have decreased by $316.2 million dollars or 14.4 percent, from $2,194.7 million during January to September of 2019 to $1,878.5 million in January to September of 2020.

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