Panama exports climb 3.6 percent


Panamanian exports came to  $583.9 million in the first 10 months of 2018 an increase of 3.6% compared to the same period last year.

Bananas, waste, and scrap of steel, copper and aluminum; wood, fishmeal and fish oil, and unrefined sugar are the main economic indicators that drove the growth

The sale of 242.2 million kilograms of bananas totaled $85.8 million dollars, an increase of 2.4% according to the  Comptroller General.

Of the 15 items analyzed by the Comptroller’s Office, 9 recorded a growth in the value of exports.

Other products of the sea (tuna, tilapia, cobia, and dorado), waste and scrap of steel, copper, and aluminum; and unrefined sugar are the three segments that recorded the largest percentage increase.

Between January and October of 2018, 50.4 million kilograms of unrefined sugar were exported to the United States for a value of $27.5 million dollars. 22.9% more than the value paid for shipments last year.

Rodrigo Cárdenas, general manager of the Agroindustrial Division of the Calesa Group, said that the difference between one year and another of this product is due to the fluctuation of the price of the quintal of raw sugar.

In Panama, mills have an export quota of 36,000 metric tons of raw sugar per year to the United States. The quota is distributed among the four sugar mills that operate in Panama and each one corresponds to 9,000 thousand metric tons of sugar.

Most mills export their quota between April and May when the sugar harvest in the country ends.