A negative balance of trade for Central America grew by 5.5 percent between January and October of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012, according to a report by the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIEC). Total exports from the region in the first ten months amounted to $25.1 billion and imports at $58,7 billion, for a cumulative trade deficit of $33.6 billion, said the SIEC, which is based in Guatemala.
The trade balances of the six countries are as follows: Panama 30.2 percent, Guatemala 20.2 percent, Costa Rica 15.3 percent, El Salvador 14.1 percent, Honduras 12.7 percent and Nicaragua 7.5 percent.
The report indicates that at least 2.2 percent of the decline of Central American exports can be attributed to lower international prices for commodities such as coffee, sugar and palm oil.
Regionally, 61 percent of Central American exports are attributable to Costa Rica and Guatemala. Other countries exports are El Salvador 14.7 percent, Honduras 13.1 percent, Nicaragua 8.2 percent and Panama 2.9 percent.
United States is the main export destination of the isthmus, and consumes the 31.8 percent of products exported. Exports to other Central American nations account for 28.4 percent, and are followed by the European Union with 13.7% percent. The United States also accounts for 37.8 percent of all imported goods, and is followed by other Central American nations at 13.7 percent and China with 7.5 percent.