Costa Rican exports show signs of recovery by growing 23% over last year

Precision and medical equipment, Costa Rica's main export sector, recorded an accumulated increase of 41% through May compared to the same period in 2020.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Costa Rica’s exports of goods totaled US$5.771 billion between January and last May, for a growth of 23% compared to the same period last year, the Foreign Trade Promoter informed this Monday.

Official data indicate that the country registered in the first 5 months of 2020 a total of US$4.7 billion in exports, while in that period of 2021, it was US$5.7 billion, which means an increase of US$1.6 billion.

Precision and medical equipments are Costa Rica's main export sectors. (Photo internet reproduction)
Precision and medical equipment are Costa Rica’s main export sector. (Photo internet reproduction)

Exports showed a growth trend during the last eight months, and several sectors have shown a commensurate performance, despite the pandemic. This is the case of precision and medical equipment, Costa Rica’s main export sector, with an increase of 41% in the accumulated to May compared to the same period in 2020.

The exported products with the highest increase in exports are medical devices (50%), needles and catheters (47%), and medical prostheses (70%). This increase is due to higher demand from markets such as the European Union and China and the incorporation of new production lines.

The food industry (20%) also recorded an upward performance in exports, as well as the chemical-pharmaceutical sector (15%), electrical and electronics (38%), metal-mechanics (49%), plastics (28%), and rubber (34%).

The Minister of Foreign Trade, Andrés Valenciano, stated that the combination of the diversity of the destination markets and the exportable supply and the sector’s innovation had been key to success.

“The results of exports of goods for the first five months of the year are excellent news for the country, with this, we add a positive trend during the last eight months (…) This is a reflection of the very positive strategy of diversification of exports and markets,” said Valenciano.

Despite these data, food products such as bananas (-10%), melon (-31%), and coffee (-5%) have seen a drop in exports. In comparison, a similar situation is experienced by the livestock and fisheries sector (-5%) due to a decrease in meat exports to North America and dairy products to Central America.

The general manager of Procomer, Pedro Beirute, said that although the export sector still presents challenges, as is the case of livestock and fisheries, “significant efforts are being made to reverse the result and promote the trend towards recovery.”

“The export promotion strategy that we have been developing is focused on one purpose, which is to bring prosperity to people and the planet. From this perspective, we are working on programs that will enable us to meet this objective. For this reason, we have a firm commitment with the export sector to continue promoting opportunities to bring well-being to all,” said Beirute.

In terms of markets, all destination regions grew. North America (24%), due to more shipments of products such as medical devices, tires, and sugar; Central America (25%) and the Caribbean (36%), thanks to the increase of syrups for soft drinks, electrical cables, and iron bars.

In addition, South America (44%) accounted for more syrups for soft drinks and beverage preparations; Europe (16%), due to medical devices, pineapple and bananas; and Asia (19%), for medical devices and wood.

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