Peru: Trade balance turns negative as exports plummet in April
June 11, 2012
In April, export plunged 11.2% over the same month last year to USD 3.1 billion. The reading contrasted the 5.5% increase observed in March and represents, in fact, the sharpest contraction since August 2009. The monthly drop reflects a decline in overseas sales of traditional goods (-15.3% year-on-year), particularly of copper and gold, which was a result of a drop in both the volume exported and prices. Meanwhile, imports grew 3.3% in April to USD 3.2 billion, which marked a notable deceleration compared to the 17.0% increase observed in March and represent the slowest pace since December 2009, when imports started to show positive growth after the crisis. As a result, the trade balance incurred a deficit of USD 144 million, which contrasted the USD 584 million surplus tallied in March and constitutes the largest shortfall since October of 2008. The Central Bank revised its export growth projections and now expects overseas sales to contract 1.1% this year, which contrasts the 5.2% expansion previously projected. The Central Bank cited lower commodities prices behind its revision. For 2013, the Bank sees exports bouncing back to a 7.7% expansion, below its previous 9.8% projection.