The Statistical Institute of Belize, SIB today released its consumer price index and external trade figures for the month of September. Latest trade statistics show that for September 2014, the total value for imported goods into Belize showed a 9.6% increase, from $149.3 million last year to $163.6 million this year. Mineral fuels and lubricants accounted for almost half of the increase in the value of imported goods during the month, growing by more than $6 million to $25 million, mostly as a result of increased diesel imports.
Machinery and transport equipment rose from $30.8 million to $34.3 million due to higher imports of water pumps and motor vehicles. In the ‘Food and Live Animals’ sector, increased purchases of lard and shortening, coffee, canned sausages and animal feed rose to $2.3million.
Statistics show that over nine months, from January to September, Belize’s total imports were valued at $1.5 billion, up 6.9 percent or $93.9 million when compared to the first nine months of 2013.
Diesel and butane imports were major contributors to this increase, as were imports of motor vehicle for the transportation of goods and for personal transport. Interesting to note is that goods destined for the Commercial Free Zones declined by over $29 million during the first nine months of this year, while those going to the export processing zones rose by more than $21 million.
SIB reports that the United States remained the country’s largest source for imported goods and Central America overtook China as the second largest. This is owed to increase in purchases of plastic pipes, butane and fertilizer from that region.
Flipping the script to domestic exports, statistics show it fell by almost one-third compared to last September, from $39.3 million to $26.9 million. This was attributed entirely to the fact that there were no shipments of crude petroleum during the month and resulted in a $14.2 million in exports bound for the United States from $21.4 million to $7.2 million.
Exports for the year to date, totalled $491 million compared to $538.4 million for the first nine months of 2013. Marine products recorded the largest growth during this period, rising from $68.6 million to $76.9 million, the largest growing sector rising by $8.3 million.
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