Costa Rican pineapple exports drop following weather and market challenges
Costa Rican pineapple exports last year fell for the first time in three years, amid weather and market-related challenges for the world's top exporter.
Exports fell by 5% to 2.12m metric tons (MT) in 2019 due to the influence of the adverse weather on production and a decrease in the international price of fruit, La Nación [in Spanish] reported.
As of November 2019, the average FOB price (outbound in the national port) of the Costa Rican pineapple for the leading U.S. market was US$0.46 per kilogram in 2017, US$0.44 in 2018, and US$0.43 in 2019.
Abel Chaves of pineapple industry group Canapep said the lower prices for Costa Rican pineapples lead to lower income for the producers. This results in inputs not being applied at the correct periods and in some growers leaving the industry.
Consequently, this impacts production - which Canapep said fell fro 199m boxes in 2018 to 187m last year - and the planted area for pineapple production.
In 2018 and early 2019, there were 43,000 net hectares devoted to this production (not counting farm roads, spaces for balers and others) and this year began with 40,000 net hectares.
Chaves said this industry will likely end with this with a decline close to that of 2019 and recover production in 2021.
Costa Rica produces pineapples in three regions. The Huetar Norte region has the biggest area devoted to this product with 19,600 hectares (49% of the total). The second region is the Atlantic Huetar region, with 11,600 hectares (29% of the total) and the third is the Pacific region, with 8,800 hectares of cultivation.