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SUGAR SALES DOWN, TOTAL EXPORT EARNINGS FALL

SUGAR SALES DOWN, TOTAL EXPORT EARNINGS FALL
December 07
12:27 2018
THE REPORTER: News Staff, -  

Revenue earned from sugar exports, Belize’s largest export earner, were down in the month of October, contributing largely to an overall decrease in export revenues of 5.1 percent, according to the Statistical Institute of Belize.

The SIB’s latest External Trade Bulletin showed that export earnings fell by $1.9 million from $37.1 million in October 2017 to $35.2 million. The SIB said that Sugar sales went down from $9.4 million in October 2017 to $2.2 million in October 2018, a difference of $7.2 million, while two other major exports, Citrus and Bananas remained practically unchanged when compared to last year. Export earnings from Citrus amounted to $3.1 million, while revenue from Bananas amounted to $8.9 million.

Despite the shortfall, some industries still managed to see growth such as Marine Products by $1.4 million, from $4.4 million to $5.8 million, which the SIB attributed primarily to “strong sales” of conch during the month. Belize also managed to get out a shipment of crude oil amounting to some $8.7 million, a 39 percent increase from the $6.3 million in October 2017.

“Merchandise exports for the period January to October 2018 totaled $355.1 million, down 14 percent or $57.9 million from the same period last year,” the SIB said.

In contrast, the country’s expenditure on imports continues for the most part to see increases. For the month of October, expenditure from imports went up by 14.4 percent or $24.3 million, going up from $168.7 million last year to $193 million this year. The SIB said the increase was driven primarily by increases in two major import categories, Mineral Fuels and Chemical Products, which went up by 71 percent and 55 percent respectively. The SIB also noted that merchandise imports for the first ten months, January to October 2018, amounted to $1.6 billion, representing a 5.8 percent or an almost $87 million increase from the same period last year.

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