(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.