Peru: Trade surplus widens in March but strike at Las Bambas mine hampers exports
Peru’s trade balance recorded a USD 431 million surplus in March, widening from February’s USD 336 million surplus but lower than the USD 667 million surplus recorded in the same month of last year.
Exports dived 11.8% year-on-year in March, due to lower prices and quantities, following February’s much softer 3.6% fall. A plunge in foreign sales of mining products more than offset much higher exports of fishing products. Exports of copper plummeted as Las Bambas mine did not record shipments as the roadblock was maintained. Moreover, gold exports also fell notably mainly due to lower production at Buenaventura mine due to heavy rainfall. Meanwhile, imports contracted 7.3% annually in March, contrasting February’s 3.1% rise, dragged down by lower purchases of capital and consumer goods.
In the 12 months leading up to March, the trade surplus was USD 6.5 billion, below February’s USD 6.7 billion surplus and the weakest reading in over one year.