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“Imports for January-November down by more than 20 percent,” says SIB

Posted: Wednesday, December 30, 2020. 8:13 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) said today that Belize’s expenditures on imports fell by more than 20 percent between the months of January-November 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019.

The SIB’s latest data shows that from January to November 2020, import expenditures amounted to $1.4 billion, representing a 21.1 percent or $381 million decrease from the same period last year, where imports totaled $1.8 billion.

“Imports declined markedly across most commodity categories over the eleven-month period, where the largest decreases were seen in imports of ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’, goods destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’, and ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment,’ the SIB said.

Decreased imports of fuel coupled with the lower cost of fuel on the world market led to a 48 percent ($130.4 million) decline in the ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ category, which fell from $273.8 million in 2019 to $143.4 million 2020. The SIB also said that imports to the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ dropped by one-third or $101.6 million, from $300.2 million to $198.6 million, due to decreased purchases of goods such as clothing, bags and footwear.

The ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ category went down by 20 percent (almost $74 million) from $365.6 million in 2019 to $291.6 million in 2020, as the country bought less telecommunications equipment, vehicles, aviation equipment and other related items. Imports of corrugated steel rods, galvalume steel coils and steel structures led to a 15 percent drop in the ‘Manufactured Goods’ category, which fell by $37.5 million, from $243.3 million to $205.8 million.

Purchases of goods classified as ‘Other Manufactures’ declined by 20 percent or more than $26 million, from $132.8 million in 2019 to $106.2 million in 2020, as imports of gold jewellery, wristwatches and plastic bottles dwindled over the eleven-month period. Crude Materials The ‘Crude Materials’ category fell notably by 46 percent or $15.8 million, from $34.4 million to $18.6 million.

“Despite the downturn in overall imports, the categories of ‘Beverages and Tobacco’ and ‘Oils and Fats’ both recorded notable increases over the period. Beverages and Tobacco The ‘Beverages and Tobacco’ category grew by 22 percent or $7.7 million, from $35 million in 2019 to $42.7 million 2020, an increase due mostly to increased imports of beer over the eleven-month period,” the SIB said. ” Oils and Fats With bigger imports of cooking oils, the ‘Oils and Fats’ category rose by 13 percent or $2.3 million, from $18.2 million in 2019 to $20.5 million in 2020.


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