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SIB: Imports up by double digits in February

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Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019. 6:55 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: For the month of February, Belize’s export revenue went up by some 13.4 percent, a dollar value of over $3 million according to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).

The SIB’s latest external Trade Bulletin, which was released today, showed that banana and sugar exports were the major factors for the overall increase. Revenues from bananas went up by $1.6 million, from $4.9 million in February of 2018 to $6.5 million in February 2019. Sugar exports rose by $1.3 million, from $3.5 million to $4.8 million, because a small bulk shipment of sugar was included in this February’s exports, while there were no bulk shipments in February of last year.

“In addition, owing mostly to increased exports of conch, along with improved sales of shrimp, whole lobsters, and lobster meat compared to February of 2018, earnings from marine products saw an uptick, from $3.2 million to $3.7 million,” the SIB said.

Some industries did see a decline in revenue, such as citrus products which fell from just over $6 million to $5.6 million. The SIB said that the shortfall came from a drop in orange concentrate exports for the month. The largest loss recorded was for red kidney beans, which fell from $1.3 million in February 2018 to just above $0.3 million in February 2019.

Looking at export destinations, the United Kingdom was the largest importer of Belizean products, with a total of $7.1 million, followed by the European Union, whose import value went up from $3.9 million in February 2018 to $6.2 million in February 2019, due to an increased amount of bananas imported. Revenues earned from exporting to Mexico fell sharply from $1.1 million to less than $0.03 million, which the SIB attributes to an absence of lobster tail exports for the month.

Looking at imported goods, the SIB said that “Belize’s total imports for the month of February 2019 were valued at almost $146 million. This was an increase of 6.8 percent or $9.2 million from imports for February 2018, which totaled $136.8 million.”

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