As we told you earlier in the newscast today the Statistical Institute of Belize issued its latest statistics for the month of February 2017 including exporting figures which continue to decline. Domestic exports for February 2017 totaled $25.8 million, a 12.9 percent or $3.8 million decrease when compared to exports for the month of February 2016. (Show Ex trade fig 1)
A steep fall in citrus sales during the month was the primary cause of the overall decrease in Belize’s export earnings. Citrus exports, comprising mainly of orange concentrate, dropped by 45 percent or $3.9 million, from the $8.7 million noted for February 2016. Additionally, sugar exports for the month fell by $1.5 million, as exported quantities of that commodity dwindled by over half. (Show Ex trade fig 3)
On a positive note, banana exports, recorded a strong performance for the month, rising by over $3 million, from $4.2 million in February 2016 to $7.3 million in February of this year. Additionally, recovering shrimp exports resulted in a slight growth of $0.4 million in the marine products category.
Despite there being virtually no change in the quantities of crude petroleum exported during the period when compared to 2016, Belize benefited greatly from higher world market prices for petroleum, with earnings for that product going up from $3.4 million in the first two months of 2016 to $5.8 million in 2017.