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 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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China Buys More Costa Rican Beef

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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.

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Beef: Increasing Business with the US

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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"]

Study on Meat Imports in Costa Rica

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Chicken meat imports in Costa Rica had a growth of 57% in 2012 over the previous year, while beef only grew 46%.

From the report:

In 2012 the country imported $48.3 million worth, an increase of 28% compared to the previous year.

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