San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica exports fall 14.2 percent in year's first half, but some products see gains

The economic crisis continues to slow areas of the Costa Rican economy. In a report released by the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER), exports followed this trend, falling 14.2 percent over the first six months of 2009.

The Costa Rican export market, which has earned over $4.2 billion dollars thus far in 2009, is $706 million behind in earnings compared to the first six months of 2008.

Two products that have seen a significant drop in exports are two of Costa Rica´s staple crops, coffee and bananas. Coffee exports fell 23.5 percent and those of bananas 12.1 percent over the first six months of the year. In monetary terms, coffee and banana exports are down over $1 billion thus far in 2009.

Other industries feeling the pinch of the economic recession were the manufacturing, industrial and textile sectors. The exports within the manufacturing sector fell 17.1 percent ($540 million). The industrial sector, which is down primarily due to the decrease in the exportation of electronic components used to create microprocessors, has experienced a difference of $910 since last year. The textile industry saw a decrease in exports of 27.2 percent, heavily due the fall of demand for electronic cables and iron.

Not all results were negative, however, as exportation of meat, shrimp, milk, melon, fruit juices, and soy all experienced increases in exportation.

Central America as a whole has felt a similar pinch in overseas markets, as exports for the entire region are down 18.4 percent from last year.

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