Despite the ongoing territorial differendum between the two countries, Belize and Guatemala continue to engage in robust trade in over 1,500 commodities; however, the bulk of the trade is constituted of imports from Guatemala, causing a huge trade deficit for Belize.
According to official information obtained from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), Belize imported over 1,500 items from Guatemala, valued at roughly $74 million, for the period January to June 2017. The level of imports from that country is down by roughly 7% or $5.5 million from the same period last year, when those imports stood at almost $80 million.
On the export side of the equation, there was an 8% increase, from $3.5 million for January to July 2016 to $3.8 million for January to July 2017.
Among the top imports from Guatemala was construction cement, up from $2.3 million to $5.7 million or a whopping 144%. Belize also imported cooking fuel or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) valued at $4.58 million for the period, up about 20% from the previous year, and $6.5 million worth of mineral and chemical fertilizers was imported, representing a marginal increase.
Meanwhile, imports of plastic bottles from Guatemala were down about 64%, from $3.4 million to $1.2 million. Bunker C fuel imports also declined by 34%, from $2.6 million to $1.7 million.
Notably, Belize imported $2 million worth of lard and lard substitutes from Guatemala, during the period.
On the export side of the equation, top domestic exports from Belize to Guatemala are corn, waste scrap stainless steel and frozen orange juice concentrate.
Exports of corn from Belize to Guatemala were valued at roughly $1.5 million, an increase of 124% over the previous year, when exports were valued at roughly $684,000. Waste scrap exports doubled, from about $240,000 to about $480,000. As for orange concentrate exports, that increased by about 44%, from about $316,000 to about $456,000.Amandala