Peru: Trade balance narrows in March thanks to strong export growth
May 6, 2016
In March, the trade balance recorded a USD 44.7 million deficit, which was a substantial improvement over both the USD 541 million deficit recorded in the same month last year and the revised USD 154 million deficit registered in February (previously reported: USD 188 million deficit).
As reported by the Central Bank, exports surged in March, expanding 2.2% over the same month last year (February: -7.8% year-on-year). This was the fastest acceleration in exports since August 2013. Traditional Peruvian shipments, such as copper, zinc and gold, as well as fish meal and coffee contributed to the strong expansion. Meanwhile, imports fell 13.5% in March, which came in below February’s 6.8% drop. The fall was mainly caused by a faster drop in imports of intermediate and capital goods.
In the 12 months up to March, the trade balance posted a deficit of USD 2.8 billion which was the smallest shortfall in seven months. Since peaking at a record-high surplus of USD 9.9 billion in February 2012, the trade balance has 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 copper and gold.