Last night we dissected the figures released by the Statistical Institute of Belize in regards to the Labour Force Survey, Consumer Price Index and Imports which did not spell good news for the country economy. Tonight we take a look the total amount of domestic exports where SIB figures illustrate that it was down 20.2 percent or $14.6 million as opposed to May 2017, which amounted to $72.6 million. The decline in export earning was mainly as a result of diminished prices for bulk sugar in the EU market.
Despite a 14 percent increase in the volumes of exported sugar, returns for that commodity plunged by one-third or $12.7 million, from $37.7 million to $25 million. Exports of citrus products also declined by $6.6 million, going from $16.8 million to $10.2 million. Bananas saw a slight decrease from $6.9 million to $6.3 million. Other exports, particularly molasses had a noticeable impact on the overall decline in export revenues for the month, as sales shrank from $3.1 million to only $53.5 thousand. While no crude petroleum was exported in 2017, returns from that commodity amounted to $8.2 million.
Exports to the United Kingdom fell significantly from $32.9 million to $28.8 million while sales to the rest of the European Union plummeted by $11.7 million, from $17.5 million to $5.8 million. Both decreases were owed to reduced revenues from sugar. Exports to CARICOM declined by $1.7 million, from $4.9 million to $3.2 million. Earnings from the United States of America, however, rose from $11.2 million to over $17 million.
Decreased revenues were also noted in other categories where banana sales fell by $6.6 million from $36.6 million to just above $30 million, while citrus exports diminished by $6.4 million from $47.6 million to $41.2 million. Marine products declined by $1.6 million, from $13 million to $11.4 million Crude petroleum, on the other hand, was the only major export to have seen increased earnings during the period which rose by nearly 40 percent or $4.5 million to $15.9 million.