In addition to the statistical analysis convergence polygons are also used as an illustrative tool in order to facilitate the analysis of regional trade.
A. Export performance
Total Central American exports in the first quarter 2011 were $7.263 million, 21.4% higher than in the same period last year. The largest exporter was Costa Rica followed by Guatemala and Honduras.
In relation to intra-regional exports, the total rises to a value of $1.752 million during the first quarter of 2011, growth was up 21.4% compared to the first quarter of last year. This is equivalent to 74.1% of the exports from the region.
B. Behavior of Imports
On the import side, the total value in the region for the first quarter of 2011 amounted to $12.650 million, an increase of 23.0% compared to the same period last year.
The country with the highest value in imports from the region is Costa Rica, followed by Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, respectively (see graph No. 3). This pattern has been observed for the past five years in total imports.
Honduras is the largest intra-regional importer, followed by El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and, finally, Costa Rica.
The total intra-regional imports in the first quarter of 2011 increased by $260.1 million.
El Salvador and Honduras remain the main receivers of goods traded intra-regionally.
C. Balance of trade
Regarding the intra-regional trade balance for the quarter 2011, Guatemala had (as in 2010) the largest positive trade balance in the region ($233 million) contrary to Honduras, whose intra-regional trade deficit is US $222.1 million. In total trade, the region is in deficit during first quarter, reaching $5387.2 million deficit, 25.2% higher than the 2010 deficit.
Foreign Trade Statistics for the period July to September 2011 by the Central American Economic Integration Secretariat.
Central American trade (exports + imports) reached $60,780 million during the first nine months of 2011. This exchange is 21.9% higher than in the same period last year, equivalent in absolute terms to an increase of $10,922.4 million.
In March 2011, exports reached $1.133 billion, driven by increases in sales of traditional products, especially coffee, bananas and sugar.
At the end of the first quarter of 2011 the Honduran economy is showing signs of recovery, as reflected in the growth behavior presented in the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (IMEA), which reached a rate of 4.4%; an improvement also recorded in foreign trade, where exports of general goods rose by 47.6% from $768.0 million in 2010 to $1,133.3 million this year, principally in sales of coffee, bananas, melons, sugar and gold.