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Aug 26, 2020

Exports, Imports Down

External trade decreased significantly due to COVID-19 for July 2020.  In July, the country imported goods valuing one hundred and nineteen million dollars, a decrease of thirty-seven point eight percent. According to Statistician Tiffany Vasquez, this represents the third consecutive month that imports declined by more than one-third, signalling the far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as local demand for merchandise goods remained low. Imports into the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ plummeted by sixty-four percent or almost twenty-five million.  Domestic exports were also down. For July, total domestic exports amounted to just under twenty-nine million dollars, down by a substantial thirty-seven point three percent.  Vasquez says that the considerable drop in earnings from sugar was the primary reason for the overall decline in exports.


Tiffany Vasquez

Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II

“For the period January to July 2020 Belize’s imports were valued at nine hundred and twelve point eight million dollars. This was a notable decrease of nineteen point three percent or almost two hundred and nineteen million dollars. This drop in effect highlight the economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic as weakened demand of  merchandise goods prompted decrease imports across almost all commodity category over the period. With a falloff in imported quantities in diesel, regular, kerosene and bunker sea fuel coupled with lower world market prices for fuel the mineral fuels and lubricants categories saw the largest decline falling by forty one percent or seventy four point seven million to one hundred and thirty two point six million. This was a twenty eight percent drop due to decrease in imports across a number of items including clothing and bags. Interestingly however in contrast to all the aforementioned decreases the country did import larger quantities of cooking oils as the oils and fats category saw the only notable increase, rising by twenty three percent or two point six million dollars to fourteen point two million.”


Earnings from crude petroleum plunged by twelve point nine million dollars since shipments of this commodity halted since the since the start of the year. Sugar revenues fell by ten point nine million dollars to seventy-five point six million.

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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