Producers fear pineapple boom may be coming to an end
Costa Rica’s pineapple producers warn that the sector is facing a series of threats, such as low prices, overproduction, and stiffer competition from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico and Colombia. Moreover, results in the Chinese market have not been as good as were hoped for.
Separate statements were made by the president of the National Chamber of Producers and Exporters of Pineapple (Canapep), Abel Chaves; the president of the National Chamber of Agriculture and Agroindustry (CNAA), Juan Rafael Lizano, and the producer of the northern zone, Christian Herrera. Although remarkable growth was recorded in the first half of the year, the impact of all of these factors is expected to be felt from the second half of the year. According to Herrera, any recovery will take at least a year and a half to materialise. Chaves adds that this year will possibly result in a drop in export volumes, with production remaining flat in 2019.
In response to the worrying situation, Costa Rica’s producers are looking for alternative markets to place the fruit, including New Zealand (a delegation of technicians visited Costa Rica last week), Japan, Israel and Peru.
Pineapple is Costa Rica’s second largest export product in terms of value, only behind banana. Last year’s exports were worth $940.7 million, compared to $1.039 million of banana and $770 million of devices for medical use, according to Procomer. Costa Rica currently has around 44,000 hectares of pineapple production, located in 16 cantons of the Huetar Norte, Huetar Caribe and Pacífico Sur regions.