And while the figures of cost of living reveal a small decline from last year, the external trade bulletin reveals that during the month of June 2015, Belize imported goods valued at $189.2 million which is equivalent to 20.1 percent or 31.7 million increase from last year June.
The bulletin also revealed that ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ had the largest increase of almost $16 million, from $31 million to $47 million, due to purchases of sailboats and airplanes during the month. ‘Manufactured Goods’ grew by more than $6 million, to almost $24 million, the result of growth in the imports of various construction supplies. Additionally, a spike in wheat seed purchases led to a $5 million increase in imports of ‘Food and Live Animals’.
In contrast, ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ fell from $17 million to $14 million, owing both to a decrease in the quantity of fuel imported as well as to lower fuel prices on the world market, compared to last June. Goods destined for the Commercial Free Zone grew by almost $4 million, as importation of cigarettes and clothing continued their upward trend.
Turning to the export scene, the bulletin revealed that Belize’s domestic exports for the month of June 2015 was $52.6 million, down $14 million or 21 percent from the $66.6 million recorded in June 2014. This decline was due primarily to decreased exports of some of the country’s top export earners, including orange concentrate and shrimp. Citrus exports fell by a substantial $14 million, due almost entirely to a steep drop in orange concentrate sales, from more than $15 million to just under $3 million. However, this was due to a delayed crop and a change in reaping practices. And while a sale surge in orange concentrate is expected in the coming months, marine exports dropped by $4 million, as shrimp earnings were halved in the month of June, from $7.4 million to $3.6 million. The North’s bloodline Sugar was the only major export to have increased during the month and grew by $6 million, from $19 million to $25 million. A major part of this increase was attributed to a large shipment for the month, which also included May’s bulk sugar shipment. Goods exported for the first six months of 2015, totaled $304 million, $37 million less than the $341 million exported during the same period in 2014.
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