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Aug 31, 2016

Trade Contracts, Imports and Exports Both Down

Tiffany Vasquez

Meanwhile, trade contracted, with imports and exports down sharply. Statistician Tiffany Vasquez says that exports are on the decline for most major agricultural products.

 

Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II, Statistical Institute of Belize

“In the period January to July of this year, Belize’s imports were valued at one point one billion dollars, down three point four percent or forty point two million from January to July of 2015. It was observed that the categories that contributed the most to this period’s decline in imports are to a large extent, the export processing zones, mineral fuels and lubricants, the commercial free zones and to a lesser degree, manufactured goods. In 2016 the export processing zones category fell by thirty seven million dollars to thirty one million dollars, a fifty four percent drop when compared to the same period in 2015, due mostly to reduced shrimp feed imports. The mineral fuels and lubricants category fell by thirty six million to one hundred and eight million dollars, a quarter reduction, owing to low fuel prices; specifically, one third less was spent on diesel, regular and premium fuels combined, for a minimum four percent reduction in imported barrels. Papaya receipts fell by fifty six percent; crude petroleum earnings dropped by almost a half, at forty seven percent for a smaller fifteen percent reduction in exported barrels. Marine gains fell by sixty eight percent. Consistent with the exit of one banana farm, banana exports dropped by thirty percent, while a difference in the timing of bulk shipments led to a thirty-four percent drop in sugar earnings. Citrus returns grew by eight percent despite a seven percent drop in exported volume of citrus concentrate, as higher world market prices have proven favourable for Belize’s citrus exports. All other exports declined by six percent.”

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