Central America’s exports to US, Europe shrink

Exports from Central America to prime trading partners Europe and the United States shrank in the first quarter of this year, an economic grouping of regional countries said Wednesday.

Revenue from goods sold to the United States fell four percent and to Europe 2.2 percent compared with the previous quarter, according to a trade report by the Central American Secretariat of Economic Integration.

Two-thirds of exports from Central American nations are sent outside the region, with nearly half going to the United States and nearly a quarter to Europe. Much smaller amounts go to Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Canada.

The total value of the region’s exports for the first three months of the year was $7 billion.

Nicaragua suffered the worst fall in exports, down 22 percent. Guatemala, the region’s biggest exporter, saw a four percent decline.

Costa Rica, the second-biggest exporter, was the only country to increase sales abroad, by six percent.

Central America’s main exports are: coffee; bananas; medical instruments; medical, dental and veterinary services; and sugar.

Over the same quarter, the value of imports to Central America fell seven percent compared with the previous quarter, to $15.3 billion.

Global Post

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