COSTA RICA – The global leader in pineapple production, Costa Rica, has recovered in production after lower volumes following the natural flowering period that left a gap in the sector’s supply volume.

The recovery comes in time for the Christmas season where local consumers are expected to enjoy lowered prices of the fresh produce due to increased supply.

According to the local producers, the current demand in Europe, their leading importer, is not high, hence the reduced local price.

Costa Rican pineapples account for 75% of Europe’s pineapple imports, and half of Costa Rica’s fresh pineapple exports – the other half enters the US markets and other destinations.

A recently published UNDP report reveals that the country has a market value of USD 2,000 million per year with more than 58,000 hectares of land dedicated to pineapple production.

In 2021, Costa Rica generated 2.9 million metric tons of pineapples, which is the highest among all countries, says the report.

Apparently, the country’s pineapple sector provides 32,000 direct jobs and 120,000 indirect jobs to local producer communities and the nation at large.

“Our product is fresh pineapple in its variety MD2 Gold, known as Golden Pineapple, which is characterized by its sweetness, aroma, juiciness, and a creamy yellow color inside,” expressed one farmer to Fresh Plaza.

Further adding that the listed characteristics make MD2 Gold the favorite pineapple of consumers in international markets.

Globally, the pineapple market size according to a report by Mordor Intelligence is valued at USD 27.08 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 36.80 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 6.33% during the forecast period (2023-2028).

Meanwhile, the pineapple production sector is not the only thriving fresh produce sector in the region. 

Another thriving fruit in the country is the Costa Rican orange production sector which is expected to rise to 305,000 metric tons in marketing year 2022/23 according to the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN).

While the United States remains the leading destination for Costa Rican exports of frozen concentrated orange juice, surging exports to China in the first quarter of 2022 are expected to drive total export volumes up in marketing year 2022/23, further outlines the report.

Industry sources as outlined by GAIN estimate that the area planted in MY 2022/23 at 21,000 hectares (ha), including area planted on the Nicaraguan side of the border for processing in Costa Rica which translates to 7.4 million number of orange trees.

Two companies, TicoFrut and Del Oro, control most of the production and practically all processing of oranges in the country.

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