The statistics published by the Bank of Guatemala and noted in sigloxxi.com, referred to the period between January 1 and March 5.
The drop in remittances is highlighted: “In February of this year, $281.9 million entered the country from family remittances, an amount $36.4 million less than what was captured during the same month in 2008, a decrease of 11.4%. That amount plus the $290.2 million which entered in January totaled $572.1 million, a figure that is 9.6% ($60.8 million) lower than what was captured during both months in 2008 which totaled $632.9 million.”
In the first half of the year remittances reached $1.93 billion, $203 million less than the first half of 2008.
According to monthly stats published by the Banco de Guatemala (Banguat), remittances summed $349 in June, the highest monthly figure since October 2008.
Ruben Darío Narciso, consultant for the Asociation of Economic and Social Investigations (Asies, acronym in Spanish), was quoted by Elperiodico.com.gt: "A reduction in remittances has negative effects, causing a reduction on the purchasing power of households that receive the money, and increasing precaution when spending in goods and services".
A Price Premium of between $30 and $35 per quintal is being paid when it was between $8 and $12.
The president of the National Association of Coffee in Guatemala, Christian Rasch, said that although revenues from coffee exports have fallen by 45%, demand for the product continues to rise, which is demonstrated by the price premium being paid for it.
Exporters resent the strength of the local currency against the dollar, which reduces competitiveness at a time when export volumes are falling.
Since the beginning of the year until mid-August, the price of the Quetzal against the dollar has gone from Q7,63 per dollar to Q7,50, a difference of 13 cents resulting in a decrease of competitiveness for exporters and sectors that generate revenue in the US currency.
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The Guatemalan Exporters Association is a private non-profit entity, established in 1982; that represents, promotes and develops non traditional exports of Guatemalan companies.
Operates in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala
Phone: (502) 2422-3400