Peru imports hit a 20-year record in 2021, stock image of shipping containers

Peru Imports, Export Sector Employment Hit Records

The Peruvian import/export sector has reported some highly encouraging signs in recent days, with the value of Peru imports hitting a 20-year record and employment related to the export sector leaping 24%.

A map of Peru and some of its main cities. Peru saw record imports in 2021.
Peru’s port of Callao is one of the busiest in Latin America

The figures point to a strong year for the sector in 2022, as well as for Peru in general, which is expected to see gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4% in 2022, having registered double-digit growth in 2021.

According to the Global Business and Economy Research Center, between January and November 2021, Peru imports hit more than $46 billion (all figures in USD) – their highest level in two decades.

That included an average growth in Peru imports of 10.6% between 2002 and 2021 and a 43% increase on imports seen during the same period in 2020. 

SEE ALSO: Starting a Business in Peru: a How-to Guide

With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting hardest in 2020, a significant year-over-year increase was to be expected. However, it is notable that imports during the first 11 months of 2021 were also 18.4% higher than those seen in the same period of 2019.

The Global Business and Economy Research Center is run by Peru’s CIEN-ADEX Exporters Association and regularly reports on Peru imports, which it noted saw records for the likes of metals, chemicals, agricultural goods, timber, and mining products. 

Meanwhile, in another positive sign for the country’s trade sector, employment related to the export industry increased 24% compared to 2020, according to figures from Peru’s Association of Exporters (ADEX) reported by El Peruano.

That saw combined monthly employment figures for the sector between January and October hit almost 2.95 million – compared to almost 2.38 million during the same period in 2020.

According to The Global Business and Economy Research Center, that represents an historic record for employment in the sector during the first ten months of any year. 

That same report highlighted how the 364,600 people employed by the export sector in October represented a 0.8% increase on the same month in 2020 – thanks in part to an 8.1% leap in employment associated with non-traditional exports mitigating a drop in employment related to mining sector exports.

That chimes in with recent reports that Peru saw the highest increase in non-traditional exports in the region in 2021, which grew 25% compared to the previous year, according to figures from Peru’s Central Bank. In combination with record Peru imports, the signs for the country’s trade sector are highly encouraging.

Strong Peru imports & exports point to bright future

The impressive figures related to Peru imports and exports point to a bright future for the country’s trade sector, and demonstrate that the South American country’s economy is continuing to recover from the deep shock caused by the global pandemic.

That will be welcomed by foreign investors interested in Latin America, with Peru being one of the most popular destinations in the region for foreign direct investment (FDI), which rose from 1.57% of GDP in 2000 to 3.89% in 2019.

The country is famed for its large deposits of metals and minerals, including gold and copper, as well as for its agricultural output. However, as the latest figures highlight, manufactured goods and other non-traditional exports are increasingly important to the economy.

Peru is also known as a hub for trade, with Lima’s neighboring port city of Callao witnessing the sixth-highest container throughput in Latin America in 2019, while it also has two other major ports in Paita and Matarani. 

The country’s trade credentials are boosted by Peru’s status as a founding member of the Pacific Alliance — a decade-old economic association that also includes Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, and which recently inaugurated Singapore as an associate member

It is also a founding member of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) — a regional association focused on lowering trade barriers that also includes Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador, and which has recently been implementing a series of measures to deepen integration.

In the context of the investment and trade profile of the country, Peru imports hitting a 20-year high points to a bright future for doing business in the country.

A map of Peru and some key cities. In 2021, Peru has witnessed the highest imports in 20 years.
A snapshot of the market in Peru

Biz Latin Hub can assist you doing business in Peru

At Biz Latin Hub, we can provide you with the assistance you need when entering the market and doing business in Peru.

Our comprehensive portfolio of professional solutions includes accounting & taxation, company formation, due diligence, legal services, visa processing, and hiring & PEO, and we provided tailored packages of integrated back-office services to suit every need.

Whether you are interested in Peru imports and exports, or any other type of business venture, contact us today to find out more about how we can help you reach your commercial goals.

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Key services offered by BLH including legal services, accounting & taxation, hiring & PEO, due diligence, tax advisory, and visa processing
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The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Craig Dempsey

Craig Dempsey

Craig is a seasoned business professional in Latin America. He is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Biz Latin Hub Group that specializes in the provision market entry and back office services. Craig holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, with honors and a Master's Degree in Project Management from the University of New South Wales. Craig is also an active board member on the Australian Colombian Business Council, and likewise also active with the Australian Latin American Business Council.

Craig is also a military veteran, having served in the Australian military on numerous overseas missions and also a former mining executive with experience in various overseas jurisdictions, including, Canada, Australia, Peru and Colombia.

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