Costa Rica continues to dominate the US pineapple market, and has firmly established itself as the largest exporter of fresh pineapple in the world, according to national pineapple producers and exporters association Canapep. Indeed, Costa Rican shipments accounted for 88 per cent of the fruit consumed in the US last year.

The group has reported that Costa Rica exported an estimated 1.3m tonnes of pineapple during 2007, comprising a total of more than 102m 13kg boxes of fruit that generated approximately US$486m, a figure which represented a 12 per cent increase on the previous year's exports. Of these, some 51 per cent headed for the US and Canada, while 49 per cent was shipped to Europe.

According to Canapep president Abel Chaves, who is also president of leading Costa Rican pineapple producer Agromonte, the latter market is now among the fastest-growing markets for Costa Rican exporters.

The country’s pineapple sector has been expanding rapidly in recent years and currently has an estimated 38,000ha under pineapple plantation.