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BEL-CAR

BEL-CAR Updates

in Issue 33 by

Those who study the Ag Prices at a Glance page in the Belize Ag Report’s centerfold, will have noted that it has been a good while since Class A corn has been even priced. (It has been marked N/A for not available). Bel-Car refers to Class A corn as dark yellow high quality type which is most desirable for their corn meal, rather than strictly feed corn. Class A has more endosperm and less germ and has high vitreousness. High endosperm kernels are usually brighter orange color, rather then yellow. Hard vitreous kernels have better nutritional, dry milling, breakage resistance and pathogen resistance qualities than soft opaque kernels. After Spanish Lookout’s trials of a new hybrid variety of a Class…

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BEL-CAR Updates – Changing Times Invite Changes to the Belize Commodity Market

in Issue 31 by

After a less than normal corn harvest caused by the summer drought (see national loss estimates in Ag Briefs, pg, Bel-Car reports that corn inventories are still more than adequate for domestic needs, although leaving little export surplus. Several farmers then planned to plant during the fall, normally a bean-planting time. However, the overabundant fall rains prevented many from following through on that plan. Due to the long-lasting rains most had to revert to the normal beans winter cycle, as they have a shorter growing period than corn. Quite a bit of RK beans and BE (black eye) peas are in the fields now. Last year was a record bean crop, with high acreages and high yields. Belize exported twice…

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BEL-CAR Update Blackeye Peas (BE’s)

in Issue 29 by

Red Kidney Beans are now a part of the coop program at BEL- CAR along with corn and blackeye peas. That means the farmers who grow RK’s receive equitable payments based on the prices BEL-CAR receives when they sell them. That will take care of the problems that arise when price fluctuations due to supply/demand variances in the market place result in different prices paid to farmers whose harvests and deliveries vary during the season. Blackeye peas are graded according to their quality which is determined by detailed export standards, including appearance (color, spots/markings caused by insects), moisture, and presence of non-BE beans, splits or foreign material, e.g., stones. Weather can adversely affect bean quality. For example, weather that is…

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BEL-CAR UPDATES

in Issue 28 by

As usual, BEL-CAR is keeping up with the world, with their CEO Otto Friesen serving as an unofficial ambassador of our growing Belizean agricultural community. Otto and another traveled to Las Vegas, USA, to attend a conference for CICILS. “CICILS is the not-for-profit peak body for the whole global pulses industry value chain. As the sole international confederation for the industry, it enjoys membership from 18 national associations (federations) and over 600 private sector members in an industry worth over $100 Billion at the retail level and over 60 M tonnes in pulse production and distribution in over 55 countries.”* CICILS is headquartered in Dubai. Corn – Last year’s corn crop is diminishing nicely – enough for the local market…

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BEL-CAR Makes Belize’s 1st Bulk Corn Export

in Issue 27 by

Belize’s first bulk export of corn was made late in October of 2014, after Bel-Car signed a contract with a Trinidadian company for 2,800 Metric tons of corn. The cost of producing corn in Belize exceeds the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) prices. However, the Trinidadian buyer who purchased this corn paid more than the CBOT price as they realize that Belize’s corn is of higher quality, which will more than compensate for the higher cost. The 2800 M T (equivalent to 124 of 50,000 lb container loads) shipped from the port of Big Creek in Southern Belize. Bel-Car brought their own portable augers for loading, and had 30 Spanish Lookout trucks delivering the corn from Spanish Lookout to the…

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BEL-CAR UPDATES

in Issue 26 by

As corn prices have remained stable, there has been no significant increase in acreage planted in corn. The corn in the ground this rainy season is looking promising, as there appears to be less problems with the chronic earworms. This is thought to be because there was much rain soon after planting. The new lands, reddish-brown soil near Hillbank and Indian Creek (Yalbac purchase), was suffering due to the dry weather up to the last days of July. Spider mites are beginning to be pests, also surmised to be from the dry weather. Normally there is more rain in July, and then a mini-dry ‘mauga’ season in August. This year has shown us a dry July – until the last…

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BEL-CAR Updates

in Issue 25 by

A good market for beans should continue in 2014. Beans were still being harvested in late April, finishing approximately 2 weeks later than normal due to the excessive rains which delayed planting time. The later beans, black eyes and Rks, have slightly better yields than the earlier beans. This yield variation may be due to the dryness at the critical podding time for the earlier beans, rather than rains. Sales this season for beans appear bright, as there is a world shortage of beans. The US Dry Bean Council is advising US farmers to plant 15-20% more beans; however the reality is that the US is projected to be planting less due to a seed shortage. There have even been…

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BEL-CAR UPDATES

in Issue 23 by

Lower Prices but Record 1.3M Cwt. Corn Harvest for Greater Spanish Lookout/Banana Bank Farms CORN: Cayo’s corn harvest for 2013 broke all previous records, with approximately 1.3 M Cwt. (1.3 million 100 lb sacks) harvested from combined acreages of Spanish Lookout’s Mennonite farmers and Banana Bank. Shortly after farmers harvested the final acreages from the approximately 30,000 acres, rains pelted the area flooding bridges and closing roads. The corn this year had been a little later than normal by about 1-2 weeks, due to later planting than usual (weather related). Some expressed surprise and relief that the quality had not been more affected, due to unusual weather, for example, rains coming prior to harvesting at the end of September. The…

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BEL-CAR Updates

in Issue 22 by

These are Bel-Car’s main products, by percentage (dollars, not volume) with note of direction from previous year. BLACK EYE PEAS: down, approx. 10% RK BEANS: level, 25% CORN: up, 64% SORGHUM: slowly up, less than 1% BLACK EYE PEAS: Production this past year is still low, and is expected to remain low again next year, due to prices returning to $0.65-0.70/lb, down from the unrealistic $1.00 to 1.10 of last year. Bel-Car management travels extensively, analyzing global factors, increasing their marketing success. Trips to the Middle East increased understanding of the short but premium market for black eyes for the Ramadan holidays. Europe has also purchased some Bel-Car black eyes this season and discussions are under way with southern US…

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Market Activity at BEL-CAR

in Issue 20 by

As the leading container exporter from Belize City, Bel-Car is working hard to fill its orders for red kidney (RK) beans and black-eyed peas. The RK bean market is good this year and Bel-Car is shipping them out as fast as they are being delivered to them by the farmers, 4 – 5 shipping containers per week bound for Jamaica. The U.S. also ships Rks to Jamaica but there are three factors currently favoring Belize (1) beans from Belize are not subject to the 40% duty the importers have to pay for U.S. beans because of the CARICOM Free Trade Agreement, (2) the drought in the U.S. reduced their yield considerably and (3) the Jamaican bins are understocked. Because of…

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