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Exports down in January

Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2018. 11:11 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Belize’s exports got off to a rough start in 2018, falling by more than 20 percent when compared to January 2017.

According to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), total export earnings to $25.7 million, down 25.5 percent or $8.8 million when compared to the $34.5 million recorded for January 2017. The SIB attributed the shortfall to declines in two major industries, sugar and bananas.

Sugar fell by $9.3 million from $11.9 million to $2.6 million. The institute explained that sugar revenues were down because only bagged sugar were exported during the month, as opposed to last year when bulk sales were included in the total revenue. Banana exports fell by over a third of last’s year’s earnings ($2.7 million) falling from $7.8 million in 2017 to 2017 to $5.1 million this year. Marine product sales also fell by $1.6 million, from $3.7 million to $2.1 million due primarily to declines in sales of shrimp.

Not all industries suffered in January. Crude oil sales, which didn’t make any earnings in December 2017, went up by 34 percent due to higher world market prices. Oil revenues went up from $5.8 million last January to $7.7 million this year, despite no change in export quantity. Citrus products also performed positively for the month, growing from $1.9 million last year to $3.8 million this year due to strong performance in the sales of orange concentrate, grapefruit concentrate and grapefruit oil.

January also saw an increase in imports, with the value going up by $8 million from $136.2 million to $144.2 million.

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