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Dec 2, 2016

Export slump highlights Belize’s economic woes

Earlier this week we reported on the significant drop in employment and thousands are now jobless even as prices go up as the economy remains in recession. Figures released recently by the Statistical Institute of Belize, show that exports have dropped by at least forty-three percent and only twenty one million dollars worth of goods were exported in the third quarter of this year. News Five’s Isani Cayetano is crunching the numbers in the following report.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Belize’s economy is in a slump, that’s no secret.  What is of concern are figures coming out of a recent External Trade Bulletin.  Those statistics, primarily for the month of October, are alarming, particularly in regards to exports.  Total revenue from the selling abroad of locally produced goods amounted to a little under twenty-one million dollars, a forty-three percent decrease when compared to the same period last year.  Merchandise exports for the first ten months of 2016 totaled three hundred and sixty-four million dollars, one hundred and fourteen million dollars less than last year.


Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician, SIB

Tiffany Vasquez

“Domestic exports for the period January to October 2016 totaled 364.3 million dollars, a drop of 28.3% or 114.1 million when compared to the same period last year. For the period January to October 2016, exports contracted for all major commodities with the exception of citrus which grew minimally. Going to export of shrimp which plummeted by 88% marine exports dropped by 49 million to 30 million, however, on a very positive note one shrimp farm has seen vast improvement in both production and exports hence recovery is afoot. Banana receipts diminish by 29.3 million to 60.4 million from the 85.7 million exported for January to October of 2015. Despite an 18 2 million dollar drop of earning for sugar exported volume of the commodity increased by 9.9% the direct effect of lower prices on the European market.”


The total number of goods brought into the country for October was valued at one hundred and fifty-two million dollars.  This too is down from one hundred and eighty-four million dollars a year ago.


Tiffany Vasquez

“Imports to the export processing zones experienced the largest drop in imports at 60% falling by 61 million to 40 million with reduced shrimp feed imports accounting to 12 million of the decline. Imports of mineral fuels and lubricants fell by 20% or 39 million dollars to 154 million despite having only a five percent drop in imported quantities of diesel, regular and premium fuels combined. Importation of chemical products dropped by 15 million to 139 million due to decrease import of plastic tubes and pipes, fertilizers and medical supplies. Imports destined for the commercial free zones fell by 6% or 14 million dollars to 246 million due in large parts to reduce imports of cigarettes, textile material and clothing. Machinery and transport equipment Belize’s large import type at 419 million grew by 13% or 53 million dollars of which 23 million dollars alone was due to increase importation of parts for telecommunications equipment.”


Isani Cayetano Reporting for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Export slump highlights Belize’s economic woes”

  1. Marie says:

    This is a hard hit to the Belizean economy, Directors, Minister of Trade, should be informed quarterly when huge $$$ are not being produced so the product can be negotiated for sale to other countries. Unfortunately, it is the little people that suffer.

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