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Belize aims to earn a record $190 million dollars from sugar exports in 2024 – Minister of Agriculture Jose Mai

Sugar Cane

Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2024. 10:27 am CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: “In 2024, Belize is projected to earn a record $190 million dollars from sugar exports,” said Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) Jose Abelardo Mai in his presentation in the Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday.

According to the Agriculture Minister, the sugar industry in Belize is demonstrating resilience and adaptability in the face of various challenges.

Despite a decline in production in the northern regions, the industry has managed to maintain a growth trajectory, buoyed by the highest world sugar prices seen in four decades. This fortuitous market condition is anticipated to bring significant economic benefits to the country.

“In 2021, sugarcane production in Belize peaked at 1.89 million tons but production in the north has been falling and in 2023, the total country production fell to 1.49 million tons,” Mai said.

In 2023, Orange Walk and Corozal delivered 977,672 tons of sugarcane to BSI, while Cayo delivered 511,288 tons of cane to Santander.

“However, due to higher sugar prices, revenues from the export of the sugar only recorded a small fall from $162.4 million to $157.9 million,” Minister Mai said.

“The good news on the sugar front, while production in the north has stagnated and is estimated to be just under 1 million tons of cane in 2024, production in the west is expected to balloon to 850,000 tons. This combined with the higher sugar prices means that in 2024, Belize is projected to earn a record $190 million dollars from sugar exports.”

According to Mai, this optimistic outlook underscores the importance of the sugar sector to Belize’s economy and its potential as a stabilizing force amidst fluctuating global markets.

 

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