SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica – Accumulative goods exports in Costa Rica through November this year (2021) totaled $13.316 billion, 25 percent more than the same period in 2020. The figure is a new goods-export record for the country.
The record was broken thanks to every sector delivering a positive performance, most of them reaching double figures. Precision and medical equipment – Costa Rica’s leading sector in goods exports with a 36 percent share– enjoyed 36 percent growth to reach $4.786 billion, while the agricultural sector grew 6 percent with $2.779 billion in overseas shipments. Exports in the food industry grew by 26 percent, chemical-pharmaceutical 9 percent, electrical and electronics 40 percent, metal-mechanics 69 percent, plastic 27 percent, livestock and fishing 9 percent and rubber 33 percent.
The statistics, released this morning by Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER), show that $3.128 billion was exported by companies in the regions surrounding our country.
“We are very happy about the growth we are experiencing in goods exports in 2021. The growth is extraordinary, even when compared to pre-pandemic years. It is also very significant that as well as the medical and electrical and electronics industry, traditional sectors such as agriculture and livestock and fishing are also generating positive numbers. These figures also mean we have to work cooperatively with other institutions and with the private sector to bring more development to zones outside the Greater Metropolitan Area, by means of chain programs, the generation of new export produce, and through the Descubre program, which helps create better conditions for the economic development of these regions,” said foreign trade minister and president of the PROCOMER board of directors, Andrés Valenciano Yamuni.
For his part, Pedro Beirute Prada, managing director of PROCOMER, added that “thanks to the hard work of the export sector, and the country’s extensive commercial platform, not only are we seeing positive numbers in a year that presented many challenges, we are also seeing diversity in the range of exportable products and the export destinations. The general growth we are experiencing this year is greater even than what we saw in pre-pandemic years, such as 2017 (+8%), 2018 (+6%) and 2019 (+2%).”
For the 11th consecutive month, the regions receiving Costa Rica’s exportable goods have grown, all into double figures. North America, the main region for national exports, grew 26 percent, Central America 27 percent, the Caribbean 29 percent, South America 59 percent, Europe 16 percent and Asia 27 percent.
Breakdown of exports in the main sectors
Precision and medical equipment exports have been boosted by products such as other medical devices (+40%), needles and catheters (+42%) and prostheses for medical use (+51%).
For its part, the agricultural sector – the second largest sector with a 21% share of the total – grew in produce such as pineapple (+13%), frozen fruit (+43%) and ornamental plants (+31%). Other non-traditional agricultural products contributing to the growth are: chayote (+14%), mango (+49%), coconut (+146%), dried pineapple (+33%), papaya (+108%) and banana (+103%); as well as other tubers such as cassava (+3%), cocoyam (+41%) and yampi (+168%).
The food industry, which represents 14 percent of goods exports and is the third largest sector, increased its exports in syrups and soda concentrates (+36%), palm oil (+38%) and juices and fruit concentrates (+31%).
Costa Rica’s fourth export sector, chemical pharmaceutical, which represents 6 percent of goods exports, grew in goods such as paint and varnish (+33%), antiserums (+7%) and medicine (+6%).