The volume of plastics exported also increased, up 9%, commented Fernando López, president of the Guatemalan plastics association (Coguaplast).
"According to López, 2009 was a complicated year for the manufacturing sector but, 'we have observed a recovery this year, though not a return to 2008 levels. Export volumes are up but profit margins are still low," writes Sigloxxi.com.
One factor that helped the recovery was the opening of new markets such as Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
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In the first two months of the year sales of plastic products abroad increased by 8% compared to the same period in 2013.
Among Guatemala's top ten export products are the 26,622 tonnes of plastics and derivatives, representing $56 million in foreign currency, the main markets are El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, with an average growth of 13% in the first quarter of this year.
Between 2009 and 2012 exports of Salvadoran plastic products grew by 60%, reaching $105 million, with the main buyer being Guatemala.
The plastics industry of El Salvador increased its foreign sales by 60% between 2009 and 2012. According to data of the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador, in 2012 alone, over $81 million worth was sold to Guatemala.
Foreign sales of Honduran plastic products totaled $241.8 million dollars in 2011, 14% more than in 2010, when the total was $211.2 million.
"In terms of export volume, the president of the Agexport Plastics Commission, Rolando Paiz, said they were 8,767 metric tons, 6,122 more than the previous year, which is equivalent to 7%," reported LaPrensa.hn.
The Guatemalan plastics industry exported 110,485 metric tons in 2011, while in 2010 only 88,906 metric tons were sold abroad.
According to a statement from the Guatemalan Exporters Association (AGEXPORT):
According to the Plastics Commission of the Guatemalan Exporters Association, trade promotion, training and education were the key initiatives that enabled the national plastics industry to increase exports from 88,906 MT to 110,485 MT in a year.