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August 16, 2010

NICARAGUA: Textile exports rise 13% but outlook uncertain

Nicaragua's textiles exports rose 12.8% in the first half of 2010, helped by recovering demand from the US, though forecasts for the remainder of the year remain choppy - with the Central American region offering a similar picture.

Nicaragua’s textiles exports rose 12.8% in the first half of 2010, helped by recovering demand from the US, though forecasts for the remainder of the year remain choppy – with the Central American region offering a similar picture.

According to trade lobby Asociacion Nicaraguense de la Industria Textil y Confeccion (Anitec), the industry exported $461m worth of textile and apparel compared to $408m in the same 2009 period.

But Anitec is not yet celebrating. It said January-May exports grew 13% so the six-month increase was slightly weaker.

“Our key markets are recovering slowly so we can only conclude that our growth is moderate since we haven’t yet reached or 2008 export levels, ” Anitec said in a statement.

In the first half of 2008, exports totalled $473m, the lobby said. Anitec offcials said it was too early to predict whether export volumes will outpace 2009’s as the strength of the US economic recovery remains uncertain.

Despite its lukewarm analysis, Nicaragua’s performance outperformed the rest of Central America except El Salvador where January-June exports soared 18.7%.

Biggest supplier Guatemala, recently embattled by child-labour accusations, saw exports increase 9.1% while Honduras chalked up a 12% hike. The biggest losers were Dominian Republic and Costa Rica where volumes fell 5.5% and 13.5% respectively.

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