Despite the health emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Peru's agricultural exports reached a historical record by registering US$7.55 billion in 2020, a 6.7% growth compared to 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism highlighted on Friday.
Minister Claudia Cornejo explained that this sector's growth was mainly explained by greater sales of fruits (US$4.061 billion; +15%).
These products accounted for more than 50% of agro-exports and close to 10% of total shipments from the South American country.
During the analyzed period, the shipments of grapes (US$1.057 billion; +20.5%), blueberries (US$1.031 billion; +25%), mangoes (US$424 million; +18.6%), and tangerines (US$257 million; +41%) experienced growth.
Avocado exports reached US$835 million, increasing 1% over the previous year. It must be noted that Peru is the world's leading exporter of blueberries and the second of avocados.
The increase in agro-exports was also influenced by the higher demand for a group of products to which medicinal properties are attributed to prevent respiratory diseases: ginger (US$109 million; +146.4%), onions (US$97 million; +12%), and garlic (US$27 million; +48%).
Other products that contributed to the expansion were: coffee (US$649 million; +2%), canned peppers (US$165 million; +15%), palm oil (US$67 million; +27%), and rice (US$30 million; +45%).
Because of the global recession caused by COVID-19, exports of Peruvian goods reached US$39.310 billion in 2020, which represented a decrease of 15.4% in relation to 2019 (US$46.00 billion).
These figures resulted from the decrease in traditional (-19%) and non-traditional (-6.7%) exports.
The main destinations for Peruvian exports were China (28% of the total), the United States (16%), the European Union (13%), and Canada (6%). Non-traditional products were sent mainly to the US (31%) and the EU (22%).
"For this year, we may get closer to the figures registered prior to the crisis generated by the pandemic. The data obtained in the last months of 2020 lead us to foresee this result," Minister Cornejo projected.