Costa Rica tallied more than $5.77 billion in exports over the first five months of 2021, a 23% increase over the same period last year.
This figure is largely explained by 41% growth in the precision and medical equipment sector, which represents the largest percentage of Costa Rica’s exports (35%).
“This increase is due to greater demand from markets such as the European Union and China, as well as the incorporation of new production lines,” the Presidency says.
Other sectors with double-digit export growth include the food industry (+20%), chemical-pharmaceuticals (+15%), electrical and electronics (+38%), metalworking (+49%), plastics (+28%) and rubber (+34%).
On the contrary, banana (-10%), melon (-31%) and coffee (-5%) exports have diminished compared to last year, as have livestock and fishing (-5%).
The latter is “a consequence of a decrease in meat exports to North America and dairy exports to Central America,” the Presidency says.
“Having a presence in more than 130 countries with an offer of more than 4,000 products, many of them with international certifications that support them, has been the country’s letter of introduction before and during this time of pandemic,” said the Minister of Foreign Trade, Andrés Valenciano.
“Without a doubt, we are going to continue working from the foreign trade sector so that these numbers continue to grow and that more markets in the world know why a small country like Costa Rica continues to conquer the world.”
Exports to North America have increased by 24%, due to more shipments of products such as medical devices, tires and sugar; to Central America by 25% and the Caribbean by 36%, due to syrups for soft drinks, electric cables and iron bars; to South America by 44%, due to syrups for soft drinks; to Europe by 16%, due to medical devices, pineapple and bananas; and to Asia by 19%, due to medical devices and wood.
In 2019, Costa Rica’s largest export destination was the United States, followed by the Netherlands and Belgium, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity. That year, Costa Rica’s top import was refined petroleum.
Despite the increase in exports, unemployment in Costa Rica remains high at 17.3%.