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July exports down, overall exports still up

Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2017. 8:23 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Despite having a 5.3 percent decline in exports for the month of July, Belize’s accumulated exports from January to July were still above what they were for the same period last year.

The Statistical Institute of Belize’s (SIB) latest External Trade Bulletin said that merchandise exports for the month of July were valued at $28.4 million, down 5.3 percent, a $1.6 million drop from the $30 million recorded in July 2016.

The SIB noted that Sugar exports for the month fell sharply by $5.2 million, from $6.7 million to $1.5 million, and was the principal reason for the overall downturn in domestic export earnings for the month. Bananas and Marine products also saw declines of $1.3 million and $0.7 million, respectively, while Citrus exports went up by $600,000, from $5.6 million in July 2016 to $6.2 million this year. The citrus increase came from favorable prices for orange concentrate on the world market.

Increasing world prices for crude petroleum has continued to help Belize’s struggling oil   industry. Crude went from having no exports in July 2016, to bringing in some $5.1 million this year.

“As a result of the strong performance recorded for crude petroleum during the month, exports to the CARICOM region, the only recipient of this product at this time, nearly doubled from $5.2 million in July 2016 to almost $11 million for July 2017,” the SIB said.

In contrast, exports to the European Union, less the United Kingdom, plummeted from $10.2 million to $3.4 million owing to the reduction in sugar sales for the month of July 2017.

Even with the ups and downs of July, merchandise exports from January to July managed to total some $304.7 million, up 16.4 percent or $42.9 million from the same seven months of last year.

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