Peru: Trade surplus widens amid buoyant exports
July 8, 2011
In May, exports expanded 63.0% over the same month last year to reach USD 3.9 billion, according to data from the Central Bank. The reading more than doubled a 27.3% increase recorded in April, and marked the fastest export growth rate in more than a decade. The monthly reading benefited from a low base of comparison, as exports had increased only 11.7% in May of 2010, as a result of lower global prices for minerals and a 10-day strike by dockers of the Callao port, which affected overseas sales. The strong reading in May reflected strong traditional exports, in particular exports of minerals (May: +45.8% year-on-year), as well as exports of oil and natural gas (May: +103.1% yoy), which benefited from rising oil and oil derivatives prices (May: +51.2% yoy). Imports accelerated from a 38.9% year-on-year increase in April to a 56.8% expansion in May to USD 3.3 billion. As a result, the trade surplus widened from USD 285 million in April to USD 641 million in May. The May expansion confirms the healthy state of the external sector, with the 3-month sum exports reaching USD 11.0 billion, which was well above the pre-crisis peak of USD 8.7 billion observed in July 2008 and more than doubled over the USD 5.4 billion trough recorded in March 2009. In its June inflation report, the Central Bank expects exports to grow only 3.8% this year, before picking up to 7.8% next year.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist