With butterfly pupae sold to Hungary, cigars to Cyprus and fruits to Kuwait, Costa Rica exported 7.8% more last month than in January 2005. Exports totaled $542 million, up $40 million from the first month of last year, according to a statement from the Foreign Trade Ministry.
“Without any doubt, the growth tendency shown by the export sector last year (11.5%) has been maintained,”Minister Manuel González said. “The result is a very good sign regarding what different production sectors of the country could experience this year.”
Agricultural exports showed the most marked growth, at 18%, with a boost from increased sales of banana (28.7%) and pineapple (67.7%). However, less traditional products with a smaller overall share of the market showed even more growth, including leather goods and aluminum sheets.
The most dynamic markets for Costa Rican exports last month were South Korea (390% growth), Austria (251%), Russia (156%), Canada (118%), Malaysia (109%), Holland (77%), China (49.9%), the Dominican Republic (45%) and Taiwan (32%). Exports to the United States, still the country’s biggest market, grew 5.5%.
New markets in January, in addition to Cyprus and Kuwait, included Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Romania, the Ukraine, Cambodia, Syria and Iran.
The trade ministry’s long-term goals are $11 billion in annual exports by 2010 and $16 billion by 2015. For 2005, the ministry set a smaller goal of $6.9 billion, and the export sector exceeded this goal with $7 billion (TT, Jan. 27).