Archive for February, 2016

Japan invests more in Belize’s cotton industry

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Belize’s budding Sea Island Cotton industry has received additional assistance from the Government of Japan.

Japan handed over 2 tractors worth $205,000 to ICA Belize, a local cotton growing company owned by Japanese-belizean businessman Kensuke Inoue, under the aegis of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security projects of Japan.

The gifts complement an ongoing project aimed to benefit both countries. Japan’s demand for cotton far surpasses the world’s supply. This is an opportunity for Belize to earn much-needed cash by exporting the product. Cotton crop yields are much higher than any other agricultural product in Belize, but cotton farming requires different kinds of equipment. Hence, Japan has offered this kind of support, as well as the equipment to produce cotton.

Belize’s weather conditions and soil quality bodes well for Belize’s ability to produce top quality cotton. In a productive year, the country can produce 30,000 pounds of dried cotton, which represents $160,000 in earnings from Japan and Europe.

There are 6 local farmers in Buena Vista, Little Belize, Shipyard and Bomba who are involved in the project.

World Bank lowers 2016 forecast for crude prices

Friday, February 12th, 2016

According to a forecast made by the World Bank, the price of crude oil in 2016 will fall significantly.

The World Bank places these prices at around US $37 per barrel in its latest Commodity Markets Outlook report. This represents a sharp fall from its October 2015 projection, which had crude priced at US $51 per barrel.

The report indicates that the lower forecast reflects supply and demand factors, early resumption of exports by Iran, greater resilience in US production, a mild winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and weak growth prospects in major emerging market economies.

The report says that oil prices fell by 47% in 2015 and are expected to decline, on an annual average, by another 27% in 2016.

The world index for fuel shows that Belize remains among the countries with the highest prices in Central America and the Caribbean.