San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Agricultural Exports Continue to Grow

DURING the first eight months ofthis year, agricultural exports increased10% compared to the same period lastyear. Overall exports increased by just0.7% during that period, according to theForeign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER).Agriculture exports up until Augustof this year totaled $981.9 million, upfrom $892.5 million during the sameperiod in 2003.The fastest-growing export crops arepineapples, which grew 31%, and malanga,a type of edible tuber similar to ñampí andtiquisque, which grew 48.8%. Other productsthat showed significant growth areornamental plants (10.5%), foliage andleaves (8.2%) and melon (8.1%).Traditional agricultural exports grewat a slower pace, including bananas(1.9%) and coffee (6.3%), according toPROCOMER.Despite a 1.5% drop in industrialexports during the first eight months ofthis year, exports of industrial food productsincreased 22.5% during this period.The fastest-growing exports in thissector were ethylic alcohol, and saucesand prepared substances, which grew by198% and 122.4%, respectively.Cattle and fish exports dropped 10.6%during the first eight months. Exports offresh, refrigerated and frozen fish dropped31.8%. Exports of dry or smoked fishdropped 22.1%

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