The recently released statistics from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), indicate that Belize’s domestic exports for the period January to November, 2017, have surpassed domestic exports for the same period last year by $45.9 million. The SIB reports that for January to November 2017 exports “totaled $429.9 million, up 12 percent … from almost $384 million recorded for the same period last year.”
Sugar and bananas have led the way so far this year. “Sugar, which accounted for more than a third of the country’s export earnings, grew by $45.2 million over the period, from $102.6 million in 2016 to $147.8 million in 2017, while revenues from bananas rose by 16.5 percent or $10.7 million, from $64.8 million to $75.5 million,” the report says.
The levels of exports of marine products and crude petroleum for the January to November period did not shift much from what they were last year, but the news wasn’t the same for citrus. “Revenues from citrus products, on the other hand, fell by a considerable $18 million during the period, from $96.4 million in 2016 to $78.4 million in 2017,” the report said.
Overall, domestic exportsfor November 2017 actually saw a downturn compared with exports in November of last year. Last year’s November exports totaled $19.1 million, while November exports for this year totaled $16.9 million, a decline of $2.2 million. The SIB attributes the decrease in revenues mainly “to reduced sales of black-eyed peas … earnings from that commodity fell sharply, from $1.8 million in November 2016 to $0.3 million in November 2017.” Marine exports also declined in November, but only by $0.4 million, thanks to “strong sales of lobster meat.”
The report described shrimp sales as suffering a “steep decline” in November, and it also noted that sales in the citrus industry showed a marginal decrease of $0.1 million,”from $3.3 million in November 2016 to $3.2 million in November of 2017,” this “mostly due to decreased grapefruit concentrate.”