The worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world, which is hitting Europe and the US hard, has had a significant impact on Costa Rican perishable-product export. According to data from the country's Chamber of Exporters (Cadexco), in some cases, exports of these products have fallen by up to 90%.
Laura Bonilla, president of Cadexco and entrepreneur of the perishable goods union, stated that they started to feel the blow more strongly last week when the situation in the United States worsened due to the advance of the disease. The US receives 67% of the cargo of perishable products that Costa Rica exports.
However, shipments began to plummet since Europe was strongly affected by the coronavirus. According to Cadexco data, Costa Rican national producers send 22% of their total exports to that continent.
The pineapple sector is one of the big losers due to the effects of the pandemic, with a drop in orders that ranges between 25% and 40%. The union is being affected by a decrease in the demand for its products and the cancellation of contracts, mainly in the United States and Europe.
The food industry and the roots and tubers sector have also been affected by the impact of the slowdown in the global economy. It has affected nearly 30% of their exports. The first group has to deal with the reduction in demand and the cancellation of contracts, while the second, mainly, suffers cancellations of orders from European markets, especially those of France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain, in addition to the United States.
The damage hasn't been quantified yet, but at this juncture it has also affected the melon and watermelon sector. The sector is being hurt by the decrease in demand for products and the cancellation of programs to send fresh fruits to the US and European markets.
The situation is no better for mango; according to estimates, 30% to 40% of exports have been affected, especially due to the drop in demand in the United States.
Exporters and the Foreign Trade Promotion Board (Procomer) are looking for new destinations for their perishable products while traditional markets overcome the pandemic. Bonilla said that they were looking with interest at several Asian countries, such as Singapore and Japan.