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Costa Rica: Performance of banana and pineapple worsens

The performance of banana and pineapple crops has dragged the agricultural activity to negative growth figures: in September, the Agricultural Monthly Activity Index showed an annual fall of 3.21%.

This drop is slightly lower than in the previous month (-3.47%); however, the sector has had declines for 12 consecutive months. Furthermore, if one takes into account when the sector began to slow its rate of growth, it has been over a period of 18 months.

According to the Macroeconomic Statistics Department of the Central Bank, in this period pineapple production fell by 8.2% and banana production fell by 12%.

The excessive rains in the Caribbean and in the north of the country as a result of the El Niño phenomenon, which could have effects until early 2016, affected the performance of both crops.

These rains also adversely affected the flowering of the early pineapple fruit.

Despite this, the Central noted that the good performance in other products, such as potatoes and milk, has mitigated the fall of the agricultural indicator.

Exports also fall
The volume of banana and pineapple exports has also been affected by the lower production.

The value of exports during the first months of the year fell by 15% for bananas and 9% for pineapple, according to figures from the Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER) up to September.

The National Banana Corporation (Corbana) estimates that the fall in exports is lower than 10%, and they attribute this behavior mainly to the weather (95%). "The market’s situation is more recent," said Jorge Sauma, manager of the institution.

He also said that the future effects of El Nino wouldn’t be as harsh as they have been up to now.


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