Wednesday, October 28, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: The Statistical Institute of Belize reports good news in the area of trade and inflation for September 2015. Imports slipped slightly for the month of September to $162 million, as no premium fuel was imported in this month and prices for other fuels were lower. Fewer clothing and cigarette purchases led to a $5 million decrease in imports to the Commercial Free Zones.
Marked increases in the categories of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, ‘Other Manufactures’ and ‘Chemical Products’ offset these declines. Notably, increased purchases of farm equipment, laboratory equipment and fertilizers were responsible for the growth within these categories.
The trade imbalance has widened, with $1.5 billion in goods imported to just $439 million exported over the first nine months of 2015.
Sugar, citrus and banana fueled the rise in domestic exports to $36 million for September, though the sugar sales are due to the late start for that season. $8 million in bulk sugar was shipped in August and September. Among the major exports, sales of marine products saw the only decline for the
month. At $6 million in September 2015, marine exports were only a half of what was recorded in September 2014, owing largely to reduced farm shrimp sales.
The decline in exports is due to diminished sales for three of Belize’s major exports, crude petroleum, marine products and citrus concentrate, led to the downturn over the nine month period. However, banana and sugar grew steadily from January to September, with banana sales rising from $72 million in 2014 to $77 million in 2015 and sugar from $109 million to $113 million.
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