AGEXPORT forecasts that Guatemalan exports will end 2019 at US$11 billion. Among all products sent globally, products like cardamom, textiles, iron and steel, bananas and paper manufacturing products stand out with the highest growth rates of the year.
Among the top 10 exporting products in 2019 in terms of its growth rates are cardamom (52.1%), iron and steel (16.7%), bananas (6.0%), paper products (11.4%) and textiles (11.2%).
At AGEXPORT, we estimate an end-of-year figure for exports of around US$11 billion, with a growth rate of 1% compared with 2018. This slow growth rate took place due to the economic slowdown in our most important markets, the trade war between the US and China and the low commodity prices, mainly for sugar and coffee. It is also important to remark the decrease in clothing exports (-2.6%), our main export product; said Mr. Amador Carballido, AGEXPORT’s CEO.
Despite the decrease in some of Guatemala’s main markets, the country is diversifying its portfolio of clients, with an important increase in markets like Asia (44%), Canada (36%) and Mexico (4%).
In 2019, we were happy to see the strong efforts of our exporters to increase international demand of Guatemalan products like fresh, frozen and dried fruits (berries), vegetables (peas, string beans, carrots, among others), natural rubber, ornamentals, beans and sesame seeds. We estimate that the country exported more than US$1.2 billion of these products, 2.8% more than the amount exported in 2018; remarked Mr. Carballido.
Manufacturing products like alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, plastics, paper and cardboard, pharmaceuticals, food preparations, detergents and soaps are some of the main exports to markets like Central America (57%), the United States (12%), Mexico (6%), Panama (5%) and the Dominican Republic (3%). The estimate figure for exports of manufacturing products in 2019 is USD4.6 billion.
For 2020, the upcoming government authorities have already acknowledged they plan to follow an economic development model based on boosting exports, as exporting companies are the ones with the highest capabilities to offer formal employment opportunities in Guatemala; said Mr. Carballido.