Turning over to the total amount of exports for August 2017, statistics show that Belize’s total domestic exports currently stands at $22.7 million. This marks a significant decline of 61.8 percent or $36.7 million as opposed to last year which stood at $59.3 million.
Sugar exports plummeted this year due a difference in the timing of bulk sugar shipments. While Belize managed to export $34.1 million in bulk sugar last year in the month of August, this time around, sugar exports were comprised only of bagged sugar which was valued at a minimum of $0.6 million.
There was an almost across the board drop in the country’s other major exports as there were no sales of crude petroleum for August 2017 and citrus products fell by one fourth, going from $5.3 million to almost $4 million, while banana sales declined from $8.1 million to $6.8 million.
In the area of marine exports, there was a minimal growth of $0.7 million, from $3.3 million in 2016 to almost $4 million this year. The month also saw higher exports of red kidney beans, with sales rising from $0.8 million to $1.9 million.
Lower exports of sugar, orange concentrate and bananas led to a $7.8 million drop in earnings from the European Union, which went from $11 million to $3.1 million.
If we talk about the eight month period of 2017, three of the five major exports saw increases contributing positively to the overall growth in export earnings. Sugar exports rose from $102.1 million in 2016 to $109.8 million in 2017, while banana sales went up from $50.2 million to $53.5 million. The marine category, due to higher shrimp and lobster tail exports, increased by $2.7 million over the period, from $22.3 million to almost $25 million.
In contrast, citrus products saw a decrease by approximately $14 million, from $80.8 million last year to $66.8 million this year over the same six month period. There was practically no change in crude petroleum exports with earnings falling by a slight $0.7 million.