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Exports Down at Half-Year Mark

Exports Down at Half-Year Mark
July 26
12:21 2018
Reporter: News Staff, July 26th. 2018 -

Belize has made less money from exports for the first half of 2018 when compared to last year, according to the latest data released by the Statistical Institute of Belize.

The SIB’s External Trade Bulletin, released on Wednesday, showed that Merchandise exports for the period January to June 2018 totaled $226.5 million, down 18 percent or $49.8 million from the $276.3 million recorded during the same period last year.

The SIB noted that four of the country’s five major exports suffered declines in the first half of 2018, with sugar being hit the hardest. Decreased prices for sugar on the world market caused a $33.8 million dollar drop in revenues earned, bringing the total down from $107.6 million last year,to $73.8 million despite only a marginal drop in export volume.

As sales of orange concentrate and orange oil continue to fall, the revenues from citrus exports fell from $57.6 million to $50.6 million. Banana export earnings also dropped by $6.1 million, from $41.7 million in 2017 to $35.6 million in 2018.

“Furthermore, despite strong sales of both lobster tails and conch during the first six months of the year, exports of marine products declined from $17.2 million in 2017 to $14.7 million in 2018, as shrimp exports continue to dwindle,”the SIB said.

The institute noted that only Crude saw an increase in earnings, despite its continued decline in export volume. Higher world market prices for oil brought revenues up from $11.4 million at the first half of last year, to $15.9 million this year.

For the month of June, Belize’s domestic exports totaled $35.9 million; a 7.3 percent or $2.8 million decline from the $38.7 million recorded for June 2017.

“For the month, earnings from exports to the United States of America fell sharply from $17.6 million to $9.7 million, while revenues from exports to the United Kingdom (UK) almost tripled compared to last June, rising by $9.1 million from
$4.6 million to $13.7 million,” the SIB said.

Diminished orange concentrate sales during the month resulted in reduced exports to the European Union and CARICOM, each fell by roughly $1.3 million when compared to June of last year.

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