Primary Sectors

Domestic exports for the year 2015 totaled $535.3 million, down 12.9 percent or $79.1 million from the $614.4 million recorded for 2014.

Source: Ministry of Trade

Sugar

Sugar has been Belize’s largest contributor to the agricultural sector. With sugarcane deliveries starting in December 2015, a month earlier than in the previous delivery season, production of over 122 thousand metric tons was recorded for the fourth quarter of 2015, while there was no sugarcane production recorded for the same quarter of 2014. read more

Citrus

Citrus is the second largest agricultural industry. In 2015, citrus fruit deliveries also saw an increase during the three month period, with orange production in particular rising by about 2.5 thousand metric tons. read more

Bananas

Banana cultivation is concentrated in the Southern districts of Stann Creek and Toledo. The total area of cultivation is 6,175 acres.10 Banana shipments also decreased, by 25 percent or more than 7 thousand metric tons, as unseasonably dry weather conditions affected the maturity of the plants.
Source: SIB GDP 4th Quarter 2015 Bulletin
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Other Crops and Horticulture

Non-traditional agriculture production has played an increasingly important role in exports in recent years. While citrus, sugar and bananas are major contributors towards GDP, there are fairly new crops that are expanding Belize’s food basket. Papayas, grains and legumes, and vegetables are a few examples.

Papayas

Production

Excessive rains in late 2013 negatively affected the papaya industry. Papaya production plummeted by 39.5% to 34.2mn pounds, as the industry was affected by viral infections and floods. The problem was compounded by the difficulty of locating disease-free lands to lease for new plantings.
Similarly, papaya exports declined by 39.5% to 34.2mn pounds, as yields were adversely affected by disease, flooding and a shortage of suitable land for production. The steep volume decline outweighed a 6.1% improvement in the average price per pound and pushed receipts down by 35.8% to $13.3mn. Notably, Farmers have taken a proactive approach to address this problem by cultivating land that is conducive for plant growth. With that said, an increase in papaya production is expected for the upcoming season.

Exports

Belize’s main export market for papayas is the United States. Expansion in production has helped Belize to become the second largest supplier of papayas to the US, after Mexico.15 Table 1 illustrates production figures and revenues generated between 2010 and 2014.

 

Table 1: Production and Export Earnings by the Papaya Industry (2004-2008)

Year Volume (mn lbs) Volume $BZ
2010 66.34 25.27 mil
2011 67.99 26.23 mil
2012 42.76 15.51 mil
2013 56.51 20.67 mil
2014 34.18 13.3 mil

Source: Statistical Institute of Belize

Grains and Legumes

Bean production continued the downward trend initiated in 2013, falling by further 22.1% due to reductions in acreage and average yield of 14.6% and 8.7%, respectively. 

Corn, while acreage expanded by 5.7%, average yields fell by 19.6% due to unfavourable weather, and total production consequently declined by 0.8% to 157.4mn pounds.
With acreage under mechanized operations in western Belize falling sharply, output of rice and sorghum also fell by 22.8% to 34.9mn. The cutback in rice production was due to a perceived oversupply on the local market, which is expected to continue into 2015.
Source: Central Bank Annual Report 2014

Agricultural trade flows depend on the interaction between comparative advantage in agriculture, which is determined by climate and resource endowments, and a wide-ranging set of local regional, national and international trade policies.

–ICTCID, 2009

Main Domestic Exports

Domestic exports for the year 2015 totaled $535.3 million. Two of Belize’s major export commodities did well: Sugar was the year’s strongest performer among the major exports, rising by almost one fifth and recording earnings of $24 million more in earnings than it did for the year 2014 for total earnings of $134 million in 2015. Despite challenges in the earlier months of the year, orange concentrate sales experienced a boost in the latter months of 2015, recording total export earnings of $89 million, a mere $1 million shy of earnings for the year 2014.

Source: Statistical Institute of Belize

Export Markets

Sugar was the year’s strongest performer among the major exports, rising by almost one fifth and recording $24 million more in earnings than it did for the year 2014. Despite challenges in the earlier months of the year, orange concentrate sales experienced a boost in the latter months of 2015, recording total export earnings of $89 million, a mere $1 million shy of earnings for the year 2014. Marine and crude petroleum exports both declined notably over the period. The former saw a drop in earnings from $113 million to $88 million, due to a one third reduction in shrimp sales on the export market, while plunging world prices resulted in a 64 percent drop in the country’s crude petroleum earnings from $102 million in 2014 to $36 million for the year 2015.
Source: Statistical Institute of Belize

Belize_top_export_trade_partners

Source:  Ministry of Trade