China: Main Market for Costa Rican Meat

During the first four months of 2021, companies operating in Costa Rica sold $22 million worth of beef to China, this figure represents 54% of the total exported by the Central American country.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Data from the Foreign Trade Promotion Agency (Procomer) show that from January to April of this year, Costa Rican beef exports to China totaled $22 million, to the U.S. $8 million and to Puerto Rico $5 million.

Between the first four months of 2020 and the same period of 2021 exports to Puerto Rico showed no variations, sales to the U.S. decreased 43% and business with Chinese companies increased 16%.

Luis Diego Obando, director of Corporacion Ganadera (Corfoga), told Nacion.com that "... it is interesting to analyze the US market, because in that country there is a growth in domestic demand and, despite this, Costa Rican sales decreased". On the other hand, "... China continues to establish itself as the best market for this product."

According to Leonardo Murillo, head of Corfoga's Research and Dissemination Department, "... industrial plants prefer to export to China, due to factors that are not clear. It could be due to the need to gain a foothold in a new market and gain positions."

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More on this topic

Livestock: Good Numbers in the Midst of the Crisis

April 2020

During the first quarter of the year in Costa Rica 99,662 cattle were slaughtered, 4% more than reported in the same period in 2019, which is largely explained by shipments to the market in China.

Although the spread of covid-19 has negatively impacted most economic sectors worldwide, data from the Livestock Corporation (Corfoga) detail that between January and March 2019 and the same period of 2020, the number of cattle slaughtered increased by 3981, from 95681 to 99662.

China Buys More Costa Rican Beef

February 2020

After the sanitary protocol to sell meat to China came into effect and the industrial plants in Costa Rica were certified, the Central American country's sales to the Asian giant doubled between 2018 and 2019.

Figures from the Foreign Trade Promotion Agency (Procomer) show that in 2018 beef sales to China reached $22 million, while in 2019 they doubled to $57 million.

Beef: Increasing Business with the US

September 2018

In the first quarter of the year, countries in the region reported $148 million in beef sales abroad, and sales to the United States increased by 25% compared to the same period in 2017.

Figures from the information system on the Fresh, Refrigerated and Frozen Bovine Meat Market in Central America, compiled by the  Business Intelligence Unit at CentralAmericaData: [GRAFICA caption = "Click to interact with graph"]

Costa Rica: More Imported Meat, Less Local Meat

February 2017

Between 2012 and 2016 imports of beef in the country doubled, going from $24 million to $50 million, while in the same period local cattle slaughter fell by 17%.

Figures from the Livestock Development Corporation (CORFOGA) indicate that consumption of imported beef has grown steadily in recent years.  In 2010 the country imported 4,731 tons, while in 2016 the figure was 9,406 tons. 

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