Sugar drives export increase for first half of 2017

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Posted: Friday, July 28, 2017. 8:13 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The sugar industry was Belize’s single largest revenue earning export for the first half of 2017, contributing largely to a 19.2 percent increase in revenue earned over last year, according to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).

The SIB’s latest trade statistics showed figures for the first six months of the year, as well as the figures for the month of June, which both saw increases.

Revenue from sugar sales totaled $107.6 million, representing a 76 percent increase when compared to the same period last year’s $61.3 million. Sugar sales also accounted for more than one 1/3 of the country’s total exports for the first half of the year.

Banana exports saw a $6 million increase, going from $35.7 million to $41.7 million. Marine earnings also went up, due to a $2.7 million increase in shrimp sales. Citrus was one of the only industries that saw a decline, falling some $17.6 million declines over the period, falling from $63 million in 2016 to $45.4 million in 2017.

Crude oil also recorded a large decline in output over the first half of 2017; however, the price of oil on the world market helped to buffer the fall off in output. Oil production fell by 2,803,500 gallons, from 8,425,900 gallons to 5,622,400; however actual revenue only fell by $1,137,700, from $12,522,900 to $11,385,200.

Merchandise imports for the period January to June 2017 totaled $894.3 million, representing a 4.8 percent or a $45 million decrease from the same time last year. Imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ saw the largest decrease, falling by some $56 million, from $239 million to $182.6 million, due to lower purchases of recording and transmission parts and equipment.

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