Nicaragua: Dairy Exports Go Down 16%

For businessmen in the sector the decline in dairy sales to May this year is mostly because of the rise in tax obligations in the country, directly impacting on export competitiveness.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Data from the Center for Export Procedures (Cetrex), say that between January and May 2018, and the same period in 2019, foreign sales of dairy fell from $53 million to $45 million, equivalent to a fall of 16%.

Regarding the volume exported, the reduction in the periods concerned was 18%, going from 21.4 million kilograms to 17.5 million kilograms.

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Oscar Lopez, executive director of the Nicaraguan Chamber of the Dairy Sector (Canislac), explained to that "... the crisis was not just in 2018, but has unleashed many consequences that are currently being felt in this sector. For example, all the increase that occurred in the fiscal obligations of dairy has made some of these decrease their export capacity and consequently has increased informality in the sector. The 36 formal plants, which are under the inspection system of the competent authority are at a disadvantage, because the informal plants do not pay taxes or pass any inspection'."

For López, another of the situations affecting the sector is that "... Last year faced a quite complex crisis and producers did not prepare well for the first months of the year, because there are no credits available. The period from January to May, which is that of this fall in exports, are the most critical months, so far this summer, but many producers did not have food for their cows. This considerably reduces the volume of milk available.

According to reports from CentralAmericaData, from January to September 2018 the main exporter of milk and dairy products to Central American countries continued to be Nicaragua, with $99 million, followed by Costa Rica, with $91 million, El Salvador and Honduras, with $19 million each, Panama with $9 million and Guatemala, with $1.3 million.

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