Peru’s Top 10 Exports

Peru's Top 10 Exports

Peruvian mountain music

Peru shipped US$36 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016, up by 34.8% since 2009 when the Great Recession kicked in and up by 8.4% from 2015 to 2016.

Peru’s top 10 exports accounted for over four-fifths (81.4%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Peru’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $409.9 billion in 2016. Therefore, exports accounted for about 8.8% of total Peruvian economic output.

From a continental perspective, 37.5% of Peruvian exports by value are delivered to Asian countries while 23.3% are sold to North American importers. Peru ships another 22.7% to Europe with 14.9% delivered to other South American and Caribbean nations.

Given Peru’s population of 30.7 million people, its total $36 billion in 2016 exports translates to roughly $1,200 for every resident in that country.

Peru’s unemployment rate was 7.2% as of January 2017 up from 6.6% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.

Peru’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Peruvian global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Peru. At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Peru’s number 1 exported product is copper ores and concentrates followed by gold, refined petroleum oils, zinc then lead.

  1. Ores, slag, ash: US$12.2 billion (34% of total exports)
  2. Gems, precious metals: $6.8 billion (18.9%)
  3. Mineral fuels including oil: $2.3 billion (6.4%)
  4. Fruits, nuts: $2 billion (5.6%)
  5. Copper: $1.7 billion (4.8%)
  6. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $1.2 billion (3.3%)
  7. Coffee, tea, spices: $877.8 million (2.4%)
  8. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $791.8 million (2.2%)
  9. Fish: $698 million (1.9%)
  10. Vegetables: $662.6 million (1.8%)

Fruits and nuts were the fastest-growing among Peru’s top 10 export categories, up 385% over the 7-year period starting in 2009. The fruits and nuts category was propelled by accelerating international sales of fresh grapes and avocados.

Second-fastest growing was the ores, slag and ash category which rose 81% led principally by copper ores and concentrates.

Peru’s fish exports appreciated by 79.3% followed by Peruvian shipments of vegetables particularly asparagus, onions and peas.

Among the decliners, Peru’s exports of knit or crochet clothing and accessories fell in value by -25.4% from 2009 to 2016. Similarly, shipments of exported copper depreciated by -22.4%.


The following types of Peruvian product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Ores, slag, ash: US$12.2 billion (Up by 81.4% since 2009)
  2. Gems, precious metals: $6.8 billion (Down by -3.5%)
  3. Fruits, nuts: $1.9 billion (Up by 425.4%)
  4. Copper: $1.7 billion (Down by -23.6%)
  5. Coffee, tea, spices: $847.1 million (Up by 24.5%)
  6. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $585.7 million (Down by -47.9%)
  7. Vegetables: $580.3 million (Up by 65.8%)
  8. Zinc: $577.5 million (Up by 163%)
  9. Fish: $538.6 million (Up by 63.7%)
  10. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $514.9 million (Down by -46.4%)

Peru has highly positive net exports in the international trade of raw materials used in construction projects. In turn, these cashflows indicate Peru’s strong competitive advantages under the ores, slag and ash product category.


Below are exports from Peru that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Peru’s goods trail Peruvian importer spending on foreign products. Overall, Peru incurred an -$89.3 million trade deficit in 2016 in stark contrast to Peru’s $4.9 billion positive trade balance during 2009.

  1. Machinery including computers: -US$4.9 billion (Up by 46.2% since 2009)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$4 billion (Up by 96.7%)
  3. Vehicles : -$3.7 billion (Up by 95%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: -$1.7 billion (Up by 71.7%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: -$1.3 billion (Up by 69.4%)
  6. Cereals: -$1.1 billion (Up by 46.3%)
  7. Iron, steel: -$1 billion (Up by 38.9%)
  8. Articles of iron or steel: -$899.5 million (Up by 47.7%)
  9. Other chemical goods: -$752.2 million (Up by 114.9%)
  10. Pharmaceuticals: -$728.9 million (Up by 63.2%)

Peru has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for machinery especially computers.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Peru’s competitive disadvantages in the international machinery products market, but also represent key opportunities for Peru to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.


Peruvian Export Companies

Peru had only one company on Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, a regional bank named Credicorp which placed 975th.

Wikipedia lists the following the following Peruvian companies, which are involved in global trade.

  • Coporación Aceros Arequipa (steel products)
  • Ferreyros (industrial, construction machinery)
  • Maple Energy (oil)
  • Peru LNG (natural gas)
  • Petroperú (petroleum)
  • Backus and Johnston (brewery)

Peru’s capital city is Lima.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 2, 2017

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 2, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 2, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 2, 2017

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Peru. Accessed on February 28, 2016

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 28, 2016