From January to June 2009, the region exported $1.54 billion, 13.5% less than the same period of 2008, and it imported $6.84 billion, 28.9% less than in 2008.
While trade between countries of the region didn't drop, it slowed down, going from growth rates of 25.2% to 16%. Intra regional commerce is the second destination of Central American products, after the U.S., which receives 30% of the region's exports.
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Honduras was the worst-hit (-26.15%), while Nicaragua the least (-16.06%).
Data from Sieca shows that Central America exported 10% less to the rest of the world in 2009 than in 2008. Imports fell even more, 24.3% when compared to 2008.
In El Salvador, trade with the rest of the world contracted 20.18%, in Costa Rica 18.9% and in Guatemala 17.99%.
From January to May 2009, $1.736 were exported and imported within the region, down from the $2.196 million registered in the same period of 2009.
The global economic crisis was the main reason behind the fall in regional trade, as imports and exports to the rest of the world also decreased, with drops of 30% and 15% respectively.
In the first half of the year, exports were down 6.9% and imports dropped 28% when compared to the same period of 2008.
According to data by the Central Bank of Guatemala (Banguat), exports totaled $3.714 million while imports summed $5.386 million.
From website Prensalibre.com: "Rubén Morales, Economy Minister, said that, in the light of this situation, they will foster exports with more trade missions to countries where Guatemala has free trade agreements".
While the fall in imports of capital goods in general was 4.6%, in the agricultural sector the reduction was 24.3%.
This is mainly due to reduced tractor imports from Mexico.
Latribuna.hn reports that "there was a similar trend for capital goods for transport, with a reduction of $48.9 million compared to what was achieved in the first eight months of 2012."