Peru: Exports fall again and trade balance registers record annual deficit despite small monthly surplus in December
February 6, 2015
In December, the trade balance registered a USD 142 million surplus, which was only a fraction of the USD 629 million surplus observed in the same month of the previous year. December’s result contrasted the USD 206 million deficit registered in November and marked an end to a streak of nine consecutive negative monthly readings.
Exports suffered another large drop in December, contracting 14.5% over the same month of the previous year (November: -9.6% year-on-year). Meanwhile, imports decreased 1.9% in November, which was an improvement from the 4.1% decline tallied in November.
In the 12 months up to December, the trade balance posted a record deficit of USD 2.6 billion. The trade balance peaked at a record-high surplus of USD 9.8 billion in February 2012. It has narrowed almost uninterruptedly since then and shifted to deficit in December 2013. This trend has been driven by falling global demand and decreasing prices for traditional Peruvian exports, such as copper, silver and natural gas. The increase in import volumes has also affected the trade balance negatively.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist