Exports of Costa Rica


Have you ever wondered what Costa Rica’s main exports are? The moment you start driving from the Liberia International Airport towards Playa del Coco or Playa Hermosa, you see fields and fields of crops growing. You often see sugar cane being harvested, cattle grazing, or melons being tended to. The statistics are quite fascinating and very impressive!

Pineapples - a major export of Costa Rica
Costa Rica which translates to a rich coast also has very rich soil! A large portion of what Costa Rica exports all over the world are agricultural goods. Costa Rica is very diversified in the products that are grown throughout the country. The main agricultural exports are bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar, and beef.

In 2019, Costa Rica exported $1.18 billion in bananas. That’s more than a bunch of bananas! Costa Rica is actually the 3rd largest exporter of bananas in the world and it is their 2nd most exported product. The main destination for all these bananas is the United States. Costa Rica is also the top exporter of pineapples, 44% of the world’s pineapples are grown here. That is a total of 2.13 million tons of pineapples.

Aerial view of a Costa Rica farm near Playa Hermosa

Not only does Costa Rica export TONS of fruit but they also export a lot of coffee. 1,472,366 60 kg bags to be exact! Over 93,000 hectares of land are dedicated to growing this morning staple. Due to its quality and environmentally friendly production, Costa Rica coffee is generally priced at a premium. To sweeten the deal, Costa Rica grows an impressive amount of sugar cane. Coffee and sugar definitely go hand in hand. 230,000 metric tons of sugar are exported all over the world from Costa Rica. The Guanacaste region handles a large percentage of the sugar production for the country.

Shockingly enough, even with all this produce, Costa Rica still finds plenty of space for livestock. Livestock is one of the main economic activities in the rural sector of Costa Rica. As a matter of fact, pastures for livestock cover 20% of the national territory!

Costa Rica cattle
Not everything Costa Rica exports can be seen as you drive through the countryside. The country’s most important exports are medical instruments. In 2019, Costa Rica exported over $3 billion in medical instruments, $2 billion more than bananas. It is the 11th largest exporter of medical instruments. Costa Rica exports medical products such as therapeutic devices, medical and surgical instruments, disposables and diagnostic equipment. In 2017, medical devices overtook agricultural goods as the country’s most exported products.

Some additional interesting exports from this country are artificial body parts (prosthetics), pneumatic tires, insulated wires, medications, and fruit juice. In 2019, the total value of all the merchandise exported from Costa Rica was 11.4 billion! Costa Rica is a small but definitely mighty country.

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