In 2015 Panama led the importation of footwear and related materials in the region, with $234 million, followed by Costa Rica, which imported $155 million, and in third place Guatemala, with $154 million.
Data from the report Foreign Trade Office on Shoes, similar articles and related materials,prepared by Business Intelligence Unit at Centralamericadata.com shows that in 2015 the countries of the region imported $757 million, corresponding to a volume of 84,484 tons.
At the end of 2014 exports from the industrial sector amounted to $8.389 million representing $382 million less than in 2013, when revenues were $8.771 billion. However, the marketing of medical devices contributed more than $287 million in 2013, offsetting the fall in other areas.
Keeping pace with the growth in vehicles, there has been growth in imports of wheels and tires, in a region where a common feature is that 45% of the market is second hand.
After three years of steady growth, in 2013 tire imports were reduced, compared to the previous year, by $12 million. However, the figures for the first months of 2014 are beginning to show improvement. In the first quarter of this year imports of wheels and tires totaled $14.8 million, slightly higher than the $13.9 million reported for the same period in 2013, according to data from the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN).
The growth in global demand and proximity to the U.S. market ensures good returns for investments in natural rubber.
93% of rubber is produced in Asia or Africa and in order to meet demand in America, high transport costs must be added to the prices, which represents an opportunity for Guatemala because of its location.
Data from the Bank of Guatemala (Banguat) also showed a decrease in export volumes which amounted to 137 million kilos, 28.3% less than the 191 million kilos in the same period in 2011.
During the same period, reductions have been reported not only on income from foreign sales of coffee; the situation is the same with exports of natural rubber and cardamom. For natural rubber the reduction in export value was 24.6%, and for cardamom, 25.6%.
In 2002 it exported $31 million worth, which 10 years later quadrupled, amounting to $123.6 million in exports in the first 5 months of 2012.
According to the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (Agexport) the main export destinations for Guatemalan rubber are the United States, Mexico and South America, with Colombia being the only other Latin American exporter.
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