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Exports start off 2020 with a huge decline, imports barely affected

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2020. 7:03 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Belize’s export revenue started off the year 2020 with a major decline while imports saw an almost insignificant reduction, according to the latest data released today by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).

The SIB’s External Trade Bulletin for January 2020, showed that export revenues had dropped by a substantial 59.7 percent. Export revenues totaled $16 million, a $23.8 million decline from January 2019. Meanwhile, import expenditures were $160.8 million, a marginal 0.6 percent decline from where it stood last year.

“A substantial decrease in export earnings from sugar was the primary reason for the considerable drop during the month. Revenues from sugar fell sharply by $16.1 million, from $17.4 million in January of 2019 to $1.3 million in January 2020, largely due to varying schedules for the shipment of bulk sugar from one year to the next. While exports for January 2019 consisted mainly of bulk sugar, exports for January 2020 consisted of only bagged sugar,” the SIB said.

The SIB also said that there was a $6 million drop in oil exports when compared to last year because there were no shipments in January 2020; a $0.3 million decline in citrus product earnings, and a $1.5 million drop in animal feed exports. Conversely, earnings from marine products rose by $0.6 million, from $3.7 million in January 2019 to $4.3 million in January 2020, due to improved sales of lobster products and conch.

Yesterday the Santander Sugar Group announced the beginning of its sugar cane season, which may give the industry a boost in the months to come when added to the sales from the American Sugar Refineries/ Belize Sugar Industries (ASR/BSI) sales that have yet to come in.


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