Packaging & Equipment

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

Last published date: 2019-10-13

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


The packaging materials and equipment industry in Honduras has presented positive growth over the last decade.

Despite the conservative growth presented in other local industry sectors, Honduras has developed a substantial increase in the packaging manufacturing market with a dynamic mix of local and international companies fabricating their products in different regions of Honduras. Local packaging manufacturing has become an effective way to cut down on shipping costs that have a negative impact on the median price range of certain products. Additionally there have been numerous carton manufacturers establishing operations in Honduras due to the elevated shipping cost of this particular material.

Currently 61% of the packaging market is represented by the carton industry in Honduras and its imports represent 51% of the total market. The packaging industry is the fifth largest revenue generator for Honduras after coffee, banana, palm oil and shrimp exports.
Packaging is also the second largest export in dollar value. In 2018 exports in carton and plastics were reported to be $200 million USD compared to $184.7 million in 2017 according to the Honduran Central Bank.

In 2018 cardboard exports increased by $38.9 million from the previous year representing a 42% growth in this sector.  The production of plastics reported an increase from $43.9 to $72.6 million USD in 2018 representing a 65.4% growth. It is important to note that while while production increased in Honduras, exports dropped by 21% indicating a significant local market demand. The top industries demanding packaging solution both locally and internationally are the pharmaceutical, textile and agricultural sectors. The primary buyer of paper and cardboard in Central America was Guatemala at $717 million, followed by Costa Rica at $639 million, Honduras at $367 million, El Salvador at $295 million, Panama at $211 million and Nicaragua at $194 million.   In 2017, 41% of the paper and cardboard products into Central America came from the United States, 9% from Mexico, 4% from China and 3% from Brazil. During the last six years, Mexico was the market of origin that has declined the most, as in 2012 it represented 12% of the total value purchased by the region but by 2017 had fallen to 9%.  Decisive purchasing factors for packaging materials are price, quality and estimated delivery times, as well as credit terms. However multinational operators prefer quality before price.

In Honduras the majority of the market competitors are manufacturing polyethylene and polypropylene containers as well as carton.
Plastic laminates are sold mostly by foreign suppliers since Honduras lacks the scale economy to ensure sustainability due to the elevated costs of the machinery involved in its manufacturing. The customs temporary import regimen is slowly allowing the market to further develop capacity by making it accessible to high-end and specialized equipment into the country.

Promotion strategies focus on direct sales for this sector. The majority of producers are highly educated with rudimentary knowledge of the production process. Marketing is limited to sample offers and retail displays. According to a report from the Honduran Ministry of Economic Development (SDE), Honduras sells under half of its cardboard packaging products to Central America, making the country one of the largest manufacturers of cardboard containers in the region.

Carton and plastics producers are the largest importers of packaging materials and equipment in Honduras. The textile industry, food processing and agricultural exporters are the main consumers. Specialized packaging for the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, and chemical manufacturing industries in Honduras is mostly imported from Mexico, China, Colombia the United States and Guatemala.

Costa Rica remains the main buyer of Honduran carton, mainly in vessels and conventional cardboard boxes, followed by Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Panama. The SDE also reported that there are seven enterprises engaged in the activity, located mainly in the northern sector of the country.




2018 (September)

2019 Estimated

Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the US





Total Market Size





Exchange Rates





   USD value represented in millions.


Leading Sub-Sectors
  • Sealing machines

  • Container labeling machines

  • Lid, seal & close machinery

  • Packaging and wrapping machinery

  • Parts and service

  • Palettizing equipment and materials

  • Numbering, labeling and printing solutions

  • Silicones

  • Phenolic resins

  • Polyurethanes

  • Coatings

  • Petroleum resins

  • Natural polymers

  • Close proximity to the United States

  • Containerized cargo from gateway cities can be transported to Honduras in 2-3 days

  • Importers strongly prefer U.S. equipment because of its high-quality and reliability

Web Resources>
  • Foreign Agricultural Service                                                     www.fas.usda.gov 

  • Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute                         www.pmmi.org

  • Honduran Foundation for Investment and Exports                  www.hondurasinfo.hn  

The US Commercial Service under the International Buyer Program provides assistance, information and registration for the following Trade Shows:

PACKEXPO 2019, September 23-25, 2019, Las Vegas, Nevada  

Process Expo 2019, October 8-11, 2019, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL - http://www.myprocessexpo.com/