Although exports have tripled in the last three years, mainly because of increased sales of medical equipment, sugar, ethyl alcohol, and meat, the business sector’s expectations are not as optimistic.

Some agricultural products have an opportunity in China, given the strong increase in consumption capacity and changes in demand. Photo: Carlos Hernández.

Data from the Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer), the institution in charge of promoting the exportation of Costa Rican goods and services throughout the world, indicate that in 2016 Costa Rican exports to China totaled US$46 million, US$111 million in 2017, and US$200 million in 2018.

Last year, sales of prostheses for medical use reached US$59 million, those of sugar reported US$36 million and those of beef, US$22 million, registering increases of 789%, 42%, and 46%, respectively, over 2017.

Karina Lopez Porras, coordinator of Market Research at Procomer, explained to La Nacion that “… in the cases of sugar and ethyl alcohol we cannot ensure that this 2019 and in the coming years are maintained exports, as Costa Rica is seeking increasingly the best options in price to place these products in the international market. Historical behavior indicates that if there is a better price in another market the sale is changed.”

Although exports have grown considerably, the expectations of some productive sectors are moderate. For Francisco Arias, manager of Corporate and Livestock Relations at Dos Pinos, “… China has been losing economic dynamism making domestic demand grow at more modest rates, additionally, the remoteness of that market represents additional logistical challenges and limit the portfolio of products that can be shipped.”


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