When it comes to Imports and Exports, the report from SIB shows that both were down for 2015.
We start off with the Imports. Belize’s total imports for the month of December 2015 were valued at $179.7 million. This was a decrease of 2.5 percent or $4.6 million over imports for December 2014, which totaled $184.2 million. During the month, imports destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’ both declined by $6 million, as fewer cigarettes, clothing, shrimp feed and steel structures were purchased, when compared to the same month in 2014.
Imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ rose by $2.6 million, owing to increased purchases of telecommunication parts during the month.
And due to the Christmas Season, a spike in turkey imports led to a $2 million growth in the category of ‘Food and Live Animals.
For the twelve months of 2015, Merchandise imports totaled $2.1 billion, an increase of 2.7 percent or $53.7 million over the total value of goods imported during the twelve months of 2014.
The report issues by the Statistical Institute of Belize today showed that Imports were down for December 2015 and the same goes for exports.
Total domestic exports for December 2015 amounted to $20 million, down 38.3 percent or $12.4 million when compared to exports for the month of December 2014. Three of the country’s major domestic exports, marine products, crude petroleum and bananas, all declined during the month of December 2015. Marine sales fell sharply from $11 million to $4 million, primarily due to an $8 million dollar drop in shrimp export earnings. There was no crude petroleum exported in December 2015, compared to almost $7 million in exports of that product in the same month of 2014. A decline of almost $3 million in banana sales further contributed to the decline in total exports during the month. The only major export to see growth during December was citrus concentrate. Sales of this product grew by $4 million, as orange concentrate exports surged from $1 million to $5 million during the month.
As it relates to the exportation of goods during the 12 months of 2015, the report shows that domestic exports for the year 2015 totaled $535.3 million, down 12.9 percent or $79.1 million from the $614.4 million recorded for 2014. Sugar was the year’s strongest performer among the major exports, rising by almost one fifth and recording $24 million more in earnings than it did for the year 2014. Despite challenges in the earlier months of the year, orange concentrate sales experienced a boost in the latter months of 2015, recording total export earnings of $89 million, a mere $1 million shy of earnings for the year 2014. Marine and crude petroleum exports both declined notably over the period.
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