Exports adjust to the market
The Foreign Commerce Deputy Minister, Severo Sousa said that the increase in exports was thanks to the efforts the country has made to b...
The Foreign Commerce Deputy Minister, Severo Sousa said that the increase in exports was thanks to the efforts the country has made to become competitive at an international level and the high level of confidence foreign and national investors have in Panama.
Coffee, fish like tuna, and beef are the main products that Panama is exporting to Europe, but curiously enough according to the National Comptroller the fishing sector is going through a hard time since 2003.
Other products that did not perform well were shrimps, whose exportation went down to 24.58 percent, sugar decreased 56.95 percent, live cattle 98.01 percent and pineapple 14.11 percent. According to Sousa the low performance of these products have more to do with production problems and the weakened euro, rather than the global financial crisis.
“Farmers opted to cut the use of farmland due to the high cost of oil derivatives,” added Sousa.
The president of the Non-Traditional Exports Union, Edwin Perez confirmed that the exports of some non-traditional products, specifically watermelon and melon have diminished and he blamed the prolonged wet season and the banks’ credit restrictions to farmers.
“We have delays in sending containers to the United States and the quantities requested are smaller than the ones we were expecting,” said Perez.
With regards to beef exports, the president of the National Association of Cattle Farmers, Euclides Diaz did not make any comments. He did mention however that the local consumption increased to 312,000 tons of beef, 10,000 more than last year.
The deputy minister did not forecast a decrease in exports due to the global financial crisis, at least not in the short term.
“The possibilities of growth are good and they are being strengthened by mega-projects and big investments, but the changing system of the European Union will affect a great part of the exports going to that market.
The principal products that Panama exports are melons, watermelons, bananas, tuna, frozen fish, seafood, scrapped metal, pineapples, pumpkins and coffee.
Exporters hope that this year will be better than 2008.