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Statistical Institute: Exports up more than 11 percent nine months into the year

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Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2021. 6:43 am CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: According to the latest data produced by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), the country’s export revenues have gone up by more than 11 percent for the first nine months of the year.

The SIB’s External Trade Bulletin (ETB), released late Wednesday, showed that merchandise exports for the period January to September 2021 totaled $335.3 million, an increase of 11.8 percent or $35.5 million from the same period last year. The increase was due to strong performances across several export commodities including sugar, animal feed, marine products, molasses, bananas, and sawn wood.

The SIB said that earnings from sugar went up by 15 percent or $15.6 million during the first nine months of this year, from $104.4 in 2020 to $120 million in 2021, largely attributable to increased production of this commodity. Meanwhile, animal feed earnings rose notably by $9.8 million, from $10.2 million to almost $20 million due to increased export quantities.

“Higher prices for lobster tails and greater exports of conch led to a $6.2 million growth in revenues from marine products, from $27.1 million in 2020 to $33.3 million in 2021. Earnings from molasses increased by $4.9 million during the nine-month period, from $10.7 million in 2020 to $15.6 million in 2021,” the SIB said.

Revenues from banana exports rose by almost $3 million, from $64.5 million to $67.5 million, and earnings from sawn wood more than doubled, from $1.3 million in 2020 to $2.9 million in 2021.

Despite the overall growth in domestic exports over the period, some commodities still saw notable declines. Decreased sales from both orange and grapefruit concentrate brought earnings from citrus exports down by $7.4 million, from $39.9 million in 2020 to $32.5 million in 2021. Exports of black-eyed peas fell from $5.5 million to $3.8 million, while crude petroleum had a $4.3 million decline, falling from $4.9 million in 2020 to just $0.6 million in 2021.

For the month of September, the total domestic exports for September 2021 amounted to $38.8 million. This represents an 18.4 percent ($8.8 million) drop when compared to exports for September 2020, which were valued at $47.6 million.

“This was primarily due to significantly lower earnings from sugar exports compared to September of last year,” the SIB said.

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