Peruvian exports experience first significant recovery in 15 months

Published on 06 January 2020

After a period of complications due to lower prices of minerals, fishmeal, precious metals and non-traditional products reversed the trend.

The international situation has been unfavorable for industrial metal prices, amid the context of the trade war between the United States and China, and concerns about the demand of the Asian country. However, precious metals have not varied negatively, and both gold and silver have registered recoveries.

Meanwhile, the weather has also played in favor and has allowed to start a good second season of anchovy fishing, which has been assigned the highest quota in the history of Peru, with 2.7 million tons, compared to a range that oscillates around the two tons, so that the results are expected to be bulky until January and even February, when all assigned is finished. In parallel, abundance has also reached the predominant species for direct human consumption, such as fan shells, horse mackerel and parakeet, while continental aquaculture has performed well with shrimp.

As a result, the value of Peruvian exports grew 3.08% in October compared to the same month of the previous year, the first increase higher than 0.1% in 15 months.

Meanwhile, non-traditional agricultural products maintained a good performance: especially the blueberry, which has been less than a decade of development in the country, and the grape, which continues with insatiable demand in Asia and Europe, mainly. The following graphs show the performance by categories, with a clear division between the case of industrial minerals and the aforementioned products.

Among the entire portfolio, the most prominent item is that of fish and shellfish for direct human consumption. This is a category of high added value that demands a greater amount of personnel per invoiced amount, and one with high competitive advantages due to the temporality, the particularity of the products, and the differential of the preparations based on Peruvian gastronomy. The following table shows the list of items of the main products of the category, in which fan shells, prawns and fish preparations predominate.

It is interesting to note the importance of Spain as a destination. The gastronomic tradition is one of the determinants of demand, so developing the culture of consumption in other countries in Europe, Asia and North America is essential, as well as the same region. On the other hand, it is important to note that the cold chain plays a fundamental role, when crossing long distances to move the merchandise by sea, while the refrigeration facilities at the airports where the international cargo is shipped is also fundamental.

In the case of blueberries, it has been mainly the United States where the consumption of exporters from Peru has developed. However, developing the Asian market remains a challenge and shows that there is still room to move forward with this product.

Finally, we review the case of gold as a reference for precious metals. Peru's export portfolio is protected against cyclical variations thanks to its diversification: in this case, the fall of industrial metals has been offset by the rise in gold and silver, which serve as value deposits in turbulent times. The composition of the destinations is more rigid because its sale is determined by the location of the refineries and vaults of the international banks, and where it is stored in physics for use in jewelry or gifts, such as India. In the following table, the distribution is seen.

In general terms, Peru has benefited from the development of a diversified offer, and the country must continue working to promote the efficiency of producers. The country's export front seems to have good prospects, whatever happens, for which the non-traditional segment and the productive and social stability of the extractive industry should be the main objective in development.

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