Half of El Salvador’s fruit and vegetable imports come from Guatemala and Nicaragua

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By LatAm Reports Staff Writers

In the first five months of 2024, El Salvador imported more than $114.9 million of fruit and vegetables to 32 countries.

52.8 per cent of the fruit and vegetables imported by El Salvador comes from Guatemala and Nicaragua, according to the Central Reserve Bank (BCR).

Between January and May 2024, Salvadorans paid more than $114.9 million for the purchase of vegetables, such as tomatoes, carrots, cabbages, celery, chilies, spinach, potatoes, sweet corn, among others; as well as for the import of fruits, between watermelons, torjas, lemons, strawberries, pineapples, etc.

The value of imports increased by $14.6 million from the $100.3 million paid in the same period of 2023. In volume, meanwhile, shipments of more than 350.1 million kilograms were entered into El Salvador, 5.6 per cent higher than the 331.4 million purchased last year.

Guatemala, the main supplier

The Central Bank reports that El Salvador imported fruit and vegetables from 32 countries in the first five months of the year, where Guatemala remains the main supplier.

According to the registry, Guatemala covered 31.2 percent of domestic demand with more than $35.9 million imported as of May. Second is Nicaragua, with $21.3 million accumulated in the first five months, equivalent to 18.5 percent of the total.

There are also imports from the United States, which exceeded $10.5 million; Mexico with more than $11.3 million, Honduras with $6.7 million, and Costa Rica with $2.6 million. On the list is Chile, with $11.7 million; China with $2.4 million; and Ethiopia, with $1.09 million.

Among the most imported products are the tomato, with more than $7.1 million; carrots and turnips with more than $2.7 million; cauliflowers, with $1.4 million; peppers (sweet chilli) with $1.2 million; red bean grains with $17.9 million; fresh bananas with $4.7 million; avocados with $10.5 million; apples with $9.9 million; pears with $1.08 million, among others.

El Salvador is an importer of fruits and vegetables since domestic production is not enough to meet demand. For the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), one country is at risk when 30 per cent of its consumption matters. In 2022, the MAG assured that the territory enters on average 80 per cent of the food purchased by the population.

This article has been translated after first appearing in Diario El Mundo