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Sugar Holds Its Own Amid Decline in Domestic Exports

Mar 29, 2023

Sugar Holds Its Own Amid Decline in Domestic Exports

Tiffany Vasquez

While there have been sharp declines elsewhere in the agro-productive sector, sugar remains a viable commodity.  Over a twelve-year period, sugar exports went from roughly sixty million dollars in 2010, to more than doubling that figure in 2022.  The outlook for the other sectors remains grim, considering the significant costs of fuel and production.

Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II, S.I.B.

“Unlike crude petroleum, citrus and marine products, sugar has taken an entirely different path, one of upward, steady progression.  Despite the loss of preferential prices in 2018, and the notably reduced exports of 2020, sugar exports went from fifty-nine million dollars in 2010, to one hundred and sixty-two million dollars in 2022, demonstrating that this product is one of the most vital domestic exports.  However, like sugar, bananas have proven to be quite resilient, for even after the closure of major farms in 2015, and the devastation of Hurricane Earl in 2016, growth in banana exports has been steady and commendable, going from sixty-nine million dollars in 2016, to ninety-one million dollars in 2021.  However, this took an unfortunate turn in 2022, a year that marked significant challenges for bananas.  Now Let’s see how we fared in the first two months of this year.  For the period January to February 2023, Belize’s domestic exports were valued at forty-seven point one million dollars.  This was a drop of five point one percent or two point five million dollars when compared to that same period last year.  This overall decline was largely due to decreased exports of bananas where earnings dropped drastically by more than fifty percent or five point nine million dollars to five point one million, as bananas continue to be heavily impacted by disease, labor issues, and extraordinarily high production costs driven by the global fertilizer crisis and the significant costs for fuel.”