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Exports down two months in a row, imports up slightly

Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2020. 6:03 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: According to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), domestic exports were down for the month of February 2020 when compared to the same month last year, while imports recorded a small increase.

The SIB said that the total domestic exports for February 2020 amounted to $19.8 million, down 22.9 percent or $5.9 million when compared to exports for February 2019, which were valued at $25.7 million, with decreases in revenues recorded in the majority of the country’s major industries. The Sugar and Citrus industries were the major causes of the drop in total exports during the month.

“Revenues from sugar were down from $4.8 million in February of 2019 to only $0.2 million in February 2020. This was due to differing shipping schedules between last year and this year since there was a small bulk shipment of sugar exported in February of last year, while there were no bulk shipments of this commodity in February 2020,” the SIB said.

Earnings from citrus products fell from $5.6 million to $4.1 million, as there were no exports of grapefruit oil and reduced sales of grapefruit concentrate in February 2020 compared to the same month last year. Bananas also declined minimally during the month from $6.6 million in February 2019 to $6.5 million in February 2020. Animal feed decreased from $1.7 million to $0.8 million

Alternately, there were some industries that recorded increases. Marine products rose by a modest $0.4 million, from $3.7 million in February 2019 to $4.1 million in February 2020, due to improved sales of lobster tails. Red kidney beans also increased by $1.7 million during the second month of the year, from $0.3 million to almost $2 million

“Merchandise exports for the period January to February 2020 totaled $35.8 million, down 45.3 percent or $29.7 million from the same period of last year,” the SIB added.

Meanwhile, Belize’s total imports for the month of February 2020 were valued at $150.5 million. This was an increase of 3.1 percent or $4.5 million from imports for February 2019, which totalled $146 million


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