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Balance of trade narrows in first quarter: imports down, exports up

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Posted: Friday, April 30, 2021. 7:26 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Belize imported nearly $39 million less in goods in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 2020, and exported about $17 million more, narrowing the uneven balance of trade which has long tilted toward imports.

The dollar value of goods imported from January to March is $466.5 million, down from $485.3 million.

Categories seeing decreases are ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment (down $26.7 million), ‘Commercial Free Zones’ (down almost $17 million), and ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ (dropping $16.7 million). These include such goods as machinery and transport equipment, bags and clothing, aviation equipment and pumps, and most fuels and cooking oils.

Belize did import more beer, mainly for re-export, along with steel pipe piles, corrugated steel rods, and cement; fertilizers, diagnostic testing kits, disinfectants and medicines; scanners, prefabricated buildings, and oxygen machines; and wheat for animals.

‘King Sugar’ rules the export roost with a boost to nearly $20 million in revenue compared to $4.5 million last year due to changes in export scheduling; it was followed by animal feed and molasses. Major industries from bananas to marine products to citrus also saw declines.

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