The former Minister of Production, Alfonso Velasquez Tuesta, stated that Peruvian food exports had grown by 16% year-on-year on average in the last 18 years, going from 421 million dollars in 2001 to 6,219 billion dollars in 2019, while world food exports had only increased by an 8% year-on-year average.
2019 was a difficult year for Peruvian exports in general, as they fell by 3%. Despite this general decrease, agro-industrial exports grew by 10%.
“This year things have been very hard because of COVID-19. In the first four months of the year, total exports decreased by 23%. Agricultural exports, however, continued growing. From January to April, agricultural exports increased by 4% thanks to the prompt measures taken by the Government, which allowed all the food-related industries to maintain their flow of operations, both for internal and external supply," he said.
He also noted that Peruvian agricultural exports had reached 146 markets last year and that shipments had exceeded one million dollars in 78 of these markets. The United States, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, Ecuador, Chile, and China accounted for 80% of shipments.
The United States accounted for nearly 40% of Peruvian agricultural exports and registered a 24% growth in 2019. China, which only accounts for 3% of the country's agricultural exports, grew by 18% last year, proving it is an interesting market. The country mainly exports blueberries, fresh grapes, and avocados to this destination.
“We see that these two important markets, the United States and China, maintain dynamic growth and we must focus our actions and our promoting interests on this. The trade disagreement between the United States and China opens up an immense opportunity for Peruvian exports, especially in the agrarian sector," he added.
China exports to the United States approximately 297 products, 215 products of which are worth $ 3.4 billion, he said. Peru can replace the United States as a supplier of 184 of the 215 products it exports to China. To do so, it must organize its offer, strengthen its competitiveness, and all the parties involved in this process must work together, he added.