Belize’s Top 10 Exports

Belize flag courtesy of

Belize flag (

A country once called British Honduras located on Central America’s eastern coast, Belize shipped US$246.2 million worth of goods around the globe in 2016. That dollar amount represents a -38.6% drop since 2012 and a -21.6% decline from 2015 to 2016.

Belize’s top 10 exports accounted for nearly four-fifths (79.2%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Belize’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $3.088 billion in 2016 (on a purchasing power parity basis). Therefore, exports represent an estimated 8% of total Belizean economic output.

From a continental perspective, $101.9 million or 41.4% of Belizean exports by value were delivered to European countries while 34.4% were sold to North American importers. Belize shipped another 20.3% worth of goods to Latin America (excluding Mexico) and the Caribbean.

Given Belize’s population of 353,858 people, its $246.2 million in 2016 exports translates to roughly $700 for every resident in that country.

Trading Economics projects Belize’s unemployment rate to be 8% as of June 2017.

Belize’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Belizean global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Belize.

  1. Sugar, sugar confectionery: US$55 million (22.3% of total exports)
  2. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $45.2 million (18.4%)
  3. Fruits, nuts: $38.3 million (15.6%)
  4. Fish: $21.5 million (8.7%)
  5. Mineral fuels including oil: $17.7 million (7.2%)
  6. Vegetables: $7.7 million (3.1%)
  7. Wood: $5.9 million (2.4%)
  8. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $5.6 million (2.3%)
  9. Perfumes, cosmetics: $5.5 million (2.2%)
  10. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $5.1 million (2.1%)

Plastics and articles made from plastic was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 2,561% for the 5-year period starting in 2012.

In second place for improving export sales was food industry waste and animal fodder which was up by 1,110%.

Belizean tobacco and manufactured substitutes posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 632.9%.

The leading decliner among the top 10 Belizean export categories was vegetable, fruit or nut preparations which was down by -41.8%.


The following types of Belizean product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Sugar, sugar confectionery: US$53.1 million (Down by -2.3% since 2012)
  2. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $39.7 million (Down by -46.2%)
  3. Fruits, nuts: $37.2 million (Down by -29.7%)
  4. Fish: $21.1 million (Down by -26.7%)
  5. Vegetables: $4.8 million (Up by 13.9%)
  6. Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $2,000 (Down by -77.8%)

Belize has highly positive net exports in the international trade of sugar and molasses. In turn, these cashflows indicate Belize’s strong competitive advantages under the sugar and sugar confectionery category.


Overall, Belize incurred a -$706.3 million trade deficit for 2016.

Below are exports from Belize that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Belize’s goods trail Belizean importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Machinery including computers: -US$94.9 million (Up by 79.9% since 2012)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: -$77.9 million (Up by 115.6%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$66.3 million (Up by 67.8%)
  4. Vehicles : -$64.8 million (Up by 87.6%)
  5. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: -$44 million (Up by 1,264%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: -$33.2 million (Up by 50.7%)
  7. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): -$26.4 million (Up by 725.9%)
  8. Articles of iron or steel: -$25.7 million (Up by 85.2%)
  9. Leather/animal gut articles: -$22.8 million (Up by 1,241%)
  10. Miscellaneous food preparations: -$21.7 million (Up by 44.1%)

Belize has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the machinery including computers category.


Belizean Export Companies

Not one Belizean corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2016.

Wikipedia lists companies from Belize that participate in international trade transactions. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Belize Telemedia Limited (mobile telecommunications)
  • Maya Island Air (airliner)
  • National Transportation Services (industrial transportation)
  • Smartnet (internet)
  • Speed Net (mobile telecommunications)
  • Tropic Air (airliner)

Belize’s capital city is Belmopan.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Costa Rica’s Top 10 Exports, Haiti’s Top 10 Exports and Top Central American Export Countries

Research Sources:, Flag of Belize. Accessed on August 30, 2017

Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 30, 2017

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 30, 2017

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 30, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 30, 2017

The World Factbook, Central America and Caribbean: Belize. Accessed on August 30, 2017

Wikipedia, Belize. Accessed on August 30, 2017

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Belize. Accessed on August 30, 2017