New Reality, Sales and Industrial Production

Because in this context of new commercial reality the sales of alcohol, fertilizers, soaps, detergents and chemical and pharmaceutical products have increased, the productive activity of the Central American industrial sector has been dynamized.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

According to figures from the Bank of Guatemala, during the III Quarter of 2020 the Guatemalan Gross Domestic Product reported -2% year-on-year variation, a behavior that contrasts with the evolution of the manufacturing industry, which for the period in question registered a 3% increase in its production.

This contrast is largely explained because the spread of covid-19 caused changes in people's consumption habits, which was a determining factor in the increase in the production of a certain group of manufactured products.

See "Chemical Industry: Tracking Trends in the Region"

According to the Central Bank's report, for the period from July to September and in the context of the pandemic, the Guatemalan market observed a dynamic in the internal and external demand for products such as alcohols, fertilizers and other chemical products for agricultural use, soaps, detergents and cleaning preparations, pharmaceutical products and medicinal chemicals.

This phenomenon was not only evident in Guatemala, since in El Salvador there are entrepreneurs who confirm that the chemical and pharmaceutical industry was one of the few sectors that resisted the economic crisis that caused the covid-19 pandemic.

Carmen Estela Pérez, president of the Association of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries of El Salvador (Inquifar), told that "... the sector knew how to react quickly to the demand that arose, but this is possible, in part, because of the strength achieved by the sector in recent years."

Also see "Pharmaceuticals: How do Markets Behave?"

In addition to the rise in production, commercial opportunities were also generated in the Salvadoran market for pharmaceutical products. Rafael Cardenas, commercial director of Paill Laboratories, explained that "... the opportunity arose to manufacture products such as zinc and ivermectin, but trying not to stop supplying the market with other products such as those required by patients with chronic conditions."

More on this topic

One Year of Crisis: How are Economies Recovering?

March 2021

Twelve months after Central America began a health and economic crisis triggered by the covid-19 outbreak, Guatemala was the fastest recovering economy and Panamanian economic activity is the slowest to return to pre-pandemic levels.

In March 2020, the first cases of covid-19 began to be detected in the countries of the region.

Drugs: Challenges in the New Commercial Reality

April 2020

In the complex scenario of health crisis, companies in the pharmaceutical sector in Guatemala are facing shortages of raw materials, mainly those imported from the U.S., Europe and China.

In the context of the covid-19 outbreak, the pharmaceutical industry has kept alive and according to businessmen in the sector, the country's laboratories maintain their operations at an average of 70%.

Pandemic, Smuggling and Black Market

April 2020

Given the crisis in the region, businessmen in Guatemala report that smuggling of Mexican products has increased, while in Panama, beer producers attribute the rise in illegal trade in alcoholic beverages to the dry law.

With the spread of Covid-19, governments in Central America have decreed mandatory quarantines and have also restricted the movement of consumers at certain hours.

Food and Cleaning: Crisis and Opportunities

April 2020

In the context of the current health emergency, Costa Rican companies working in the production of food and cleaning supplies have had to considerably increase their operations to cover the growing demand.

The covid-19 outbreak caused consumers to increase spending on basic necessities such as food and cleaning supplies in recent weeks, forcing companies in these sectors to work overtime, invest in equipment and hire more workers on a temporary basis.

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