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Imports down, exports way down in August

Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017. 3:47 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: While Belize lessened its expenditure on imports by 9.5 percent for the month of August, the country’s exports fell by 61.8 percent in the same month.

The latest external trade bulletin produced by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) showed that the country spent $143.2 million on imports in August, a $15 million drop compared to last year; however, the country only made to $22.7 million in exports. The decline in exports represents a $36.7 million loss when compared to last year.


Import expenditures fell due to reduced imports on ‘Machinery Transport Equipment’ and ‘Other Manufactures’ as well as reduced imports to ‘Commercial Free Zones.’


The SIB explained that the huge downturn in exports was due primarily to a difference in timing for shipments of Belize’s largest export, sugar, as well as declines in most other major exports.


“While in August 2016 Belize exported $34.1 million in bulk sugar, during August 2017 sugar exports comprised only of bagged sugar, valued at a minimal $0.6 million. Further adding to the decline, there was an almost across the board drop in the country’s other major exports during the month,” the SIB said.


Belize did not export any oil for August, causing a $4.3 million shortfall, while bananas and citrus products saw declines of $1.3 million each. 


Total exports for the year still managed to show 1.9 percent growth, valuing some total  $327.4 million, or $6.2 million when compared to the January-August period last year.


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