In general, the Banco Central de Costa Rica (BCCR) – Central Bank – had forecast a reduction of Costa Rica’s exports, however three exports in particular have seen a significant drop in the past three years: drugs, melons and textiles.
In the case of drugs, the Promotora de Comercio Exterior (PROCOMER) – Foreign Trade Pomoter – reports sales dropped to US$139.2 million last year from US$291.8 million in 2010. The trend is continuing this year with sales for the first two months of 2013 dropping to US$21.8 million from US$22.7 for the same period last year.
The main destination for Costa Rica’s pharmaceuticals are Central American countries like Panama, with almost one quarter of all drug exports going there, Guatemala and Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
In the case of melons, sales in 2010 were US$73.3 million, while in 2012 they dropped to US$67 million. The slowdown of exports has affected producers in the areas of the Tempisque, the Nicoya Peninsula, Orotina and Parrita.
As far as textiles, according to PROCOMER exports in 2012 plunged to US$209 million from US$223.8 million in 2010. The drop has continued for the first two months of 2013, falling 8% over the same period in 2012.
Costa Rica’s textile industry has gone through some swings in recent years, one of the major effects is the the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Mexico, which reduced tariffs on products from that country.
Other export products showing a slowdown also, though not as significant, are pineapples, bananas, medical devices, and green coffee.
The main market for Costa Rican exports continues to be North America, where 42.3% of all exports land. Costa Rica exports also land in the European Union with 18.5%, Asia with 14.4% and Central America with 14.3%.