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The Port of Belize in Belize City (Photo: PortAuthority.bz)

Belize exports increase by 6.9% in first 8 months of 2019

The Port of Belize in Belize City (Photo: PortAuthority.bz)

Oranges being prepared for export in Belize. (Photo: CARICOM.org)

A surge in earnings from sugar, along with marked increases from both banana and marine exports led to overall growth in exports from Belize over the first eight months of the year.

Merchandise exports for the period January to August 2019 totalled just above BZ$298 million, up 6.9 percent or BZ$19.2 million from BZ$278.8 million for the same period last year.

Notwithstanding a drop in world market prices, revenues from sugar rose sharply by more than BZ$23 million, from BZ$86.5 million in 2018 to BZ$110.2 million in 2019, due to a considerable 34.9 percent increase in exported quantities of this commodity over the period.

Sugar cane, which becomes sugar (Photo: YouTube)

As a result, the merchandise trade balance in Belize recorded a slight downturn for the first eight months of 2019, relative to the corresponding period in 2018.

On the other hand, merchandise imports from January to August 2019 amounted to BZ$1.3 billion, representing a 3.2 percent or BZ$40 million increase from the same period last year.

Imports across most commodity categories grew over the eight-month period, with the largest recorded increases being in the categories of ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ and ‘Manufactured Goods’.