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Beans and banana revenues contribute to the first export increase of 2020

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Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2020. 7:32 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: While Belize’s exports were down for the first two months of 2020, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reports that the month of March saw an increase of 2.6 percent due largely to increased sales of red kidney beans and bananas.

The latest External Trade Bulletin says that total domestic exports for the month of March 2020 amounted to $26.7 million, up 2.6 percent, or $0.7 million from the almost $26 million recorded for March of 2019.

“Earnings from red kidney beans surged by $4 million, from just $0.8 million in March 2019 to a noteworthy $4.8 million March 2020, while banana exports went up by $1.9 million during the month, from $7.4 million to $9.3 million,” the SIB said.

However, the gains experienced from these items were offset by declines in citrus exports which dropped by 40 percent or $2.7 million from $6.7 million to $4 million; marine products which dropped by $0.4 million for the month, from $2.9 million to $2.5 million; and sugar export which from $2.1 million to $1.7 million, all when compared to the same period in 2019.

The marginal increase in exports for the month of March could not undo recording two months of export declines, which left merchandise exports for the period January to March 2020 at a decline of 21.7 percent. Earnings for the first three months of the year totaled $62.5 million, almost $29 million less than last year.

Meanwhile, imports for the month of March were up by 18.2 percent, with increases among all import categories. ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ and ‘Manufactured Goods’ saw the most significant increases, going up by $7.7 million and $6 million respectively.

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