2017 was a terrific year for Peruvian exports, one of the best in recent years. Peru's exports saw the world's third-highest growth rate, with a 22% jump that was only surpassed by Belarus (24%) and Russia (25%). Peru also led South America for growth in exports, ahead of Columbia (19%), Brazil (18%) and Ecuador (18%). In 2017, its exports were worth US$44.212 billion.
Last year, traditional exports totaled US$32.5 billion, with a sharp rise of 27.5%. The mining industry showed the strongest performance, with products like copper, zinc and molybdenum. On the other hand, nontraditional exports were up 8.3%, growth that was largely fueled by agribusinesses that brought in US$5.085 billion, as Peru led the world in exports of products like asparagus, avocado and mango. In total, nontraditional exports accounted for US$11.712 billion.
Mining cemented its position as the country’s top source of export earnings in 2017. Peru became the world’s number one exporter of zinc, lead and molybdenum. It is also the second-largest exporter of copper and the fourth in tin. Gold exports reached 18% of Peru's total revenue on the international market, making it the world’s eighth-largest exporter. The main buyers of Peruvian gold are Switzerland, Canada, United States, India and the United Kingdom.
Peru’s 31% growth in fishing industry exports was the largest in the world. It leads the way internationally in exports of fish meal and fish oil. In 2017, its exports totaled US$2.877 billion, a figure underpinned by traditional shipments of fish meal and fish products for direct human consumption such as squid, unshelled prawn tails, fish fillets and whole frozen prawns.
This sector was the country’s second-highest earner, hitting a record high of US$5.906 billion in exports in 2017. Nontraditional agricultural exports accounted for 86% of that figure, showing significant growth. The products in highest demand were coffee, grapes, avocado, asparagus and blueberries, as well as fresh or dried mangoes, bananas, cocoa beans and other extraordinary products.
Chemical exports brought in US$1.377 billion in 2017. Star products were propylene, zinc oxide, lake pigments, ethylene products, sodium hydroxide, ethyl alcohol, cochineal carmine and tires.
In 2017, the clothing industry generated around US$874 million as a result of the 6.1% growth in fashion products created by Peruvian designers, while Peruvian textiles brought in more than US$395 million, with outstanding products like alpaca fiber. The main export markets were the United States, the Netherlands, Ecuador and Chile.
Outlook for 2018
Lima Chamber of Commerce projections have exports hitting US$48 billion by the end of 2018, fueled by strong performance in the mining and agricultural sectors. The body also calculated that the demand for Peruvian products will rise as a direct result of external factors such as an upturn in manufacturing and consumption in countries like the United States and China. The Peruvian government has set a similar goal and concurs with the Chamber of Commerce, with a forecast of US$50 billion for exports in 2018.
Sources: PROMPERÚ / ADEX / CCL