Costa Rican pineapple producers are predicting their exports will increase as much as 20% this year to reach $500 million, thanks to a strong demand for the fruit from the United States and the European Union.
The Chamber of Pineapple Producers and Exporters (CANAPEP) estimated that last year, Costa Rica exported $413 million worth of pineapple. Costa Rica produced 80 million 12-kilogram boxes of pineapple, 11.5 million boxes more than during 2005, ranking pineapple as the second most valuable agricultural product for the Costa Rican economy below bananas.
“This product is positioning itself very well,” CANAPEP president Abel Chaves told the daily La Prensa Libre, adding that ratifying the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA) is crucial for keeping up the crop’s success in the United States.
The United States is the primary destination for pineapple exports, followed by Belgium, Germany and Holland.