Exports went up by $27 million

The golden years for Panamanian exports were 2006 and 2008, and in the latter year they achieved shipments that exceeded $1,035,000,000.

At that time, when exports rebounded in this country, a new economic crisis shook the world's top economies, and factors such as rising fuel prices led to a significant decrease in exports.

There was a precipitous drop in 2009, when only $691 million worth of products were exported from January to October, which represented a decrease of $343 million (-33%), compared with the previous period. Currently, the numbers show positive signs for shipments of agricultural, agroindustrial and industrial industries, and fishing is the only sector that causes concern, as it continues to record negative points.

The latest report, released in October 2012, shows that, compared to 2011, the total amount of exports increased by $27 million, reaching a total of $687,773,022 dollars. Although the figure for total exports in 2012 has not yet been finalized, Richard Barnet, national export director of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MICI), said the amount could be approximately $900 million dollars.

Within the four sectors of Panamanian exports, gold, a product of the industrial sector, remains number one, even though it recorded a 0.4% decline in monetary value by exporting just $98 million compared to the $99 million total in 2011. Barnet said that the industrial sector could experience an increase in exports this year, as Panama will begin to export copper.

Whereas in the agricultural sector, bananas or plantains, both fresh and dried, are number one and in second place in terms of total exports, with a FOB value of $71.4 million. Other agricultural products that could become of interest are sugar cane, fresh fruits and palm oil.