San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican exports down 11 percent from 2008

Keeping pace with the downward economic trend for the year, the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER) announced that Costa Rican exports fell 11 percent in comparison to the first 11 months of the year in 2008.

According to PROCOMER, exports have generated $7.98 billion in sales this year, which is $998 million less than the January-November the timeframe in 2008.

Though the 11 percent decline in export sales was disheartening, the market began to show small signs of recovery as exports in November were 2.8 percent greater than in November 2008. Last year, Costa Rican export revenues topped $9.5 billion, the highest amount generated by exports in the country´s history.

“These results regarding national exports are evidence that the demand of local goods and services has improved during the second half of the year in the principal export markets,” said Emmanuel Hess, the general manager of PROCOMER.

According to PROCOMER, the industrial sector accounts for 76 percent of export revenue, followed by the agriculture sector (21 percent) and livestock and fish sector (2 percent).

Some of the significant increases in export demand have been seen in medicines (7.2 percent), milk (20 percent), pork (82 percent) and pineapple (1.2 percent). Costa Rica is the world´s leader in pineapple exports.

The exports that have experienced the most significant drops in demand were seen in the manufacturing industry (15 percent), fish (3.8 percent) and coffee and bananas. No exact figures are yet available for the percentage decreases in coffee and bananas.

The biggest demand for Costa Rican goods and services remains in the U.S., which accounts for 38.6 percent of all local exports. Asia and the European Union each receive over 17 percent of the total Costa Rican export market.

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