Peru: Trade balance narrows in April thanks to strong export growth
June 3, 2016
In April, the trade balance recorded a USD 13.1 million surplus, which was a substantial rebound over the USD 616 million deficit recorded in the same month last year and an improvement over the revised USD 8.1 million surplus registered in March (previously reported: USD 45 million deficit).
The Central Bank reported that exports surged in April, expanding 12.3% over the same month last year (March: +4.5% year-on-year). This was the fastest acceleration in exports since November 2012. Traditional Peruvian shipments such as copper and gold as well as fish meal and coffee contributed to the strong expansion. Meanwhile, imports fell 10.9% in April, which came in above March’s 13.2% drop. The moderation of the decrease was mainly caused by a slower drop in imports of capital goods.
In the 12 months up to April, the trade balance posted a deficit of USD 2.1 billion, which was the smallest shortfall in 14 months. After peaking at a record-high surplus of USD 9.9 billion in February 2012, the trade balance narrowed almost uninterruptedly and shifted to deficit in March 2014. This trend has been driven by falling global demand and decreasing prices for traditional Peruvian exports such as minerals and fossil fuels. However, there has been a silver lining in the past months as the trade deficit recorded the third consecutive moderation in April.