The most important export is coffee, the quantity exported in the year 1896 being 11,089,523 kilogrammes, valued at 4,318,286 pesos gold. Other exports were bananas, 670,072 pesos ; hides and skins, cedar, and various woods. The coffee exports are to Great Britain, the United States, and the continent of Europe .
According to the Board of Trade Returns, the trade of the United Kingdom with Costa Rica has been : —
Imports into U.K Rica ....
Exports of product Costa Rica .
from Costa i of U.K.' to
£ 493,131 167,424
£ 356,115 157,029
£ 289,038 175,133
£ 317,514 217,173
£ 333,310 197,692
The chief article imported from Costa Rica in 1897 was coffee, value 328,774Z. The chief domestic exports to Costa Rica in 1897 were cottons, value 67,544Z. ; iron, wrought and unwrought, 26,524Z. ; woollens and worsteds, 18,243/.
Shipping and Communications.
In 1898 Costa Rica had 3 merchant steamers of 600 tons and 2 sailing vessel of 551 tons.
In 1896 there entered the ports of Limon and Puntarenas 476 vessels of 471,125 tons (178 of 205,937 tons British ; 45 of 57,041 tons German ; 77 of 96,925 tons United States) ; and cleared 475 of 473,929 tons (173 of 205,336 tons British ; 47 of 58,976 tons German ; 76 of 96,476 tons United States).
The railway system of Costa Rica extends from Limon, on the Atlantic coast, inland to Alajuela, 117 miles. From Puntarenas, on the Pacific, a line ex- tends to Esparza, 14 miles. This line is being continued to Alajuela, and when it is completed there will be railway communication between the east and west coasts. Other railways are projected.
In 1897 there were 83 post offices. Letters, &c., despatched (1896) : internal, 1,164,807; external, 822,190.
There are (1897) telegraph lines of a total length of 917 English miles, with 43 telegraph ofi&ces. The number of messages in 1897 was 382,116.
Money, Weights, and Measures.
There are two banks in Costa Rica, the Anglo-Costa Rican Bank, and the Bank of Costa Rica, with a capital of 1,200,000 pesos, and 2,000,000 pesos respectively. The paper in circulation in 1896 amounted to 3,300,000 pesos, the specie reserve being 1,250,000 pesos.
The silver in circulation amounts to about 350,000 pesos.
The Peso or Dollar, of 100 Centavas : par vahie, 4s. The paper peso is worth about Is. lOd. On October 26, 1896, an Act was passed for the adop- tion of a gold standard, at the ratio of 1 to 26f , the monetary unit will be the gold colon, weighing 778 gi-ammes, "900 fine. The present silver coin- age will continue in circulation ; the new silver coinage will consist of frac- tions of the colon, viz., 50, 25, 10, and 5-cent pieces 750 fine silver will be legal tender up to 10 colons, and copper up to 1 colon. Foreign gold will be legal, but not foreign silver. This project had not in 1898 been carried out ; steps are being taken towards its completion.