According to data published by the Comptroller General of Panama, between January and April 2019, the country's export volume increased by 1.8% over the previous year, mainly due to the trade of bananas. In this period, exports of other fruit and vegetable products, such as watermelon or melon, also increased. Meanwhile, pineapple exports decreased.
During the aforementioned period, Panama exported 527,433 kilos of goods to international markets, 27.5% of which, or 145,173 kilos, were bananas. In addition, the country exported 21,469 kilos of watermelon, 2,540 kilos of melon, and 8,199 kilos of pineapple, among other products.
According to data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (Mici), banana exports are being boosted by the recent reactivation of the banana zone of the Baru district, in Chiriqui, by the company Banapiña SA, a subsidiary of the transnational Del Monte. In fact, this year the country expects to export 1,400,000 boxes of bananas to the US market.
In addition, the country brand Panama Exporta was launched during the past administration with the purpose of strengthening the presence of Panamanian exports in the international market. To date, 113 companies have registered to it, 40 of which have already exported with the brand.
Moreover, parallel to the negotiations of a trade agreement with the People's Republic of China, during the administration of Juan Carlos Varela, the country acquired customs codes to export Panamanian pineapples to that Asian market.
The volume of imported goods (kilos) between January and April 2019 increased by 7.3%. Consumer goods increased by 18.2%, while imports of intermediate goods and capital goods decreased by 5.9% and 6.7%, respectively.