Republic of El Salvador

Economy

Natural Resources
The natural resources of El Salvador are basically agricultural and forest resources. The main crops are coffee, cotton and sugarcane. There are also timber species of great commercial value such as black oak, cedar, guaiacum or “palosanto”, mahogany, trumpetwood and rubber tree; and there are gold, silver, limestone and gypsum deposits.

Agriculture
Nearly one third of the territory is arable land. Coffee, cotton and sugarcane and the main agricultural products. Coffee is exported to the United States and Western Europe. It is of excellent quality and grows on volcanic slopes. Sugarcane and cotton grow in the lowlands.

Corn, rice, beans and tropical fruits are the main crops for internal consumption. Plantains, mangoes, pineapples, apples, avocados, coconuts and papayas can be mentioned among the most popular fruits. The production concentrates on the central plateau.

Forestry and Fishing
In view of the population density, the forestry resources of El Salvador have been reduced to a small percentage of the territory and yield a very low production. Most of the timber wood has to be imported. However, balm trees are abundant and El Salvador is one of the main suppliers of balm extract that is collected in the coastal strip for medicinal purposes.

Shrimp is the basis of commercial fishing. There is also a small catch of tuna, mackerel and sword fish.

Industry
Since the beginning of the 1950s, the government has contributed to the industrial development of the country. The main products are petroleum by-products, chemical products, apparel and textiles, food products and beverages, shoes, cement, fertilizers and cigarettes. The first steel sheet factory of the country was opened in 1966.