Costa Rica - Country Commercial Guide
Agriculture

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data

Last published date: 2021-11-10

Corn

Overview

                                                                                  Unit: Metric Tons

 

2019

2020

2021

(estimated)

2022

(estimated)

Total Market Size

950,265

961,488

967,000

980,000

Total Local Production

     9,000

     7,000

     7,000

     5,000

Total Exports

              0

             0

              0

             0

Total Imports

941,265

954,488

960,000

975,000

Imports from the U.S.

832,678

842,684

850,000

860,000

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Data Sources:

             Total Local Production: Ministry of Agriculture, National Production Council

             Total Exports:  Customs Department, Costa Rican Ministry of Finance

             Total Imports:  Customs Department, Costa Rican Ministry of Finance

             Imports from U.S.: Customs Department, Costa Rican Ministry of Finance

Costa Rica’s total corn imports reached $194.1 million in 2020 up from $192.7 million in 2019.  Total import volume increased 1.4 percent during the same period.  Import volume is expected to increase during 2021 as the economy slowly recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Most corn imported by Costa Rica is yellow corn used in animal feed production.  A smaller volume of white corn is imported for tortilla and corn flower production.  The United States has been able to maintain a high percentage of the Costa Rican market for imported corn through logistical advantages and long-standing trade relationships, though South American suppliers could compete for market share depending on crop size in given years.   Brazil exported 103,425 MT to Costa Rica in 2019 and 54,087 MT in 2020. 

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Although most of the imported volume is yellow corn used for animal feed, imports of white corn for human consumption (primarily as tortillas) have increased as a result of lower domestic production.

Opportunities

The market for corn is expected to grow in the future as a result of growing local demand for animal feed.  Local corn production is very small, and the local poultry and dairy sectors continue to drive import growth.

Web Resources

Camara de Industriales de Alimentos Balanceados

ciabcr@racsa.co.cr

Foreign Agricultural Service

AgSanJose@usda.gov

Soybeans

Overview

                                                                                                                Unit: Metric Tons

Unit: Metric Tons

 

2019

2020

2021

(estimated)

2022

(estimated)

Total Market Size

260,960

300,457

310,000

320,000

Total Local Production

0

0

0

0

Total Exports

0

0

0

0

Total Imports

260,960

300,457

310,000

320,000

Imports from the U.S.

260,922

300,434

310,000

320,000

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Data Sources:

             Total Exports: Customs Department, Costa Rican Ministry of Finance

             Total Imports: Customs Department, Costa Rican Ministry of Finance

             Imports from U.S.: Customs Department, Costa Rican Ministry of Finance

The volume of soybean exports to Costa Rica increased 15 percent in 2020, driving import values to $120.3 million, up from $97.2 million in 2019.  Soybean imports are expected to increase although at a slower rate in 2021 and in 2022.  The United States has maintained an almost 100 percent market share since 2016, though South American suppliers occasionally enter the market depending on prices and other market conditions.  Soybean meal imports have increased over the last few years as meal demand has grown faster than local and regional demand for soybean oil; soybeans are imported mainly for meal.  While Costa Rican soybean oil is sold primarily in the local market, Costa Rica exports soybean oil regionally within Central America.  There is only one oilseed crusher in Costa Rica, INOLASA, located near the Pacific port of Caldera (where all bulk grains arrive).

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Imports of soybean meal from the United States reached a record level in 2018.  Soybean meal exports amounted to $29.2 million in 2019 and $32.2 million in 2020. 

Opportunities

The post-COVID economic recovery is expected to result in higher consumer demand for animal protein, which should result in opportunities for higher exports of soybeans and soybean meal in the medium term.

Web Resources

Camara de Industriales de Alimentos Balanceados

ciabcr@racsa.co.cr

 

Foreign Agricultural Service

AgSanJose@usda.gov