San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica exports take hard hit in January

Costa Rican exporters sustained a considerable blow from the global economic crisis in January, grossing only $600.6 million, 19 percent below the January 2008 total, the Foreign Trade Ministry (COMEX) reported.

The recession in the United States, the chief importer of Tico-made goods, continued to cut into company earnings here. Last month saw $220.7 million in goods exported to the U.S., down by 17.6 percent from January 2008.

Computer parts were hit the hardest, said COMEX, citing losses of as much as $56 million, or 30 percent.

“One of the principal causes of the lower level of operation of exporting companies is based on the difficulty in this sector to attain lines of credit,” Foreign Trade Minister Marco Vinicio Ruiz said in a statement.

Amid the grim figures, the Foreign Trade Promotion Office found a ray of hope: Canada. Against the grain, exports to the U.S. northern neighbor rose by 9.7 percent in January compared with the same month last year, with ornamental plants, tires, pineapples and textiles driving the increase.

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