Costa Rican pineapple export demand decreases 50%
Pineapple exports out of Costa Rica will be taking a big hit as export orders from Europe and the U.S. - the country's main market destinations - have dropped by 50%, reports local Costa Rica News.
The fruit's price per kilo has declined by US$0.30 as an immediate result and producers in the country's Northern region anticipate that the situation will only worsen as Covid-19's impact spreads.
Local farmer Luis Adrián Barrantes told the publication that the situation is even more difficult than the crisis that the country's pineapple industry faced three years ago when 50% of all harvest was thrown out because of over-production.
Undoubtedly, the effects of the global health crisis will continue presenting challenges for Costa Rica's 400 producers across the four regions of San Carlos, Upala, Guatuso and Los Chiles.
"There's a lot of uncertainty about the upcoming weeks because we may possibly have to use all of the fruit we were going to export and redirect it to the juice industry - which also means that that market would be oversaturated," explained another producer Donald González.
Apart from the tons of potentially lost pineapple from the drop in demand, Costa Rica's industry is worried about bank debt. Currently, some producers expect to lose more than US$87,000 while others say the figures could be higher as they don't know what to expect for the future.
Debt is something that Costa Rican pineapple growers had faced even before the pandemic - saying that two years ago most producers applied for debt forgiveness and/or to reassess outstanding debts. However, the government hasn't taken action.
Now, with such uncertainty, explained González to the publication, the industry is "worried about the Ministry of Agriculture's declaration by Renato Alvarado that said that the agriculture industry isn't facing any challenges during this crisis".
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