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Peru: Non-traditional exports to South Korea grow driven by agribusiness

Peruvian exports with added value to South Korea between January and October this year amounted to US $104.7 million, representing an increase of 4.4%. Mango and grape exports increased by three and two digits, respectively, said Juan Velasquez Varilias, president of the Peru-Korea Business Council.

Agribusiness exports totaled US $25 million, showing an increase of 88.8%. Among the 52 items exported, mangoes stand out with US $ 9.2 million and a 209% increase, grapes (59%), bananas (88%), maca flour (367%), fresh asparagus, frozen fruit, quinoa, strawberries and tara powder, among others.

Despite having a contraction of 16.7% due to lower shipments of canned squid (-12.5%) and frozen squid (-35 %) the fishing sector was the most important non-traditional sub-sector (US $ 59.4 million).

Other important sub-sectors were the textile sector, which had a 46.3% increase, the chemical sector (161%), clothing sector (13%), iron and steel sector (-52.4%) and wood sector (50%).

Demanded product

Varilias said that the trade agreement between both countries, which has been in force since August 2011, is yielding good results and that there were more opportunities for Peruvian products, including cereal bars, because Korean consumers took good care of their health and highly appreciated those kinds of products.

"It's an interesting niche. In South Korea the labor force is also composed of young people who demand this product because of a matter of convenience. Cereal bars are healthy and their consumption is practical, that's why there is a growing trend in consumption," he said.

He added that the main supplying countries of that product in South Korea were the US, China, UK, Belgium, and Germany.

Total shipments

He said that traditional exports continued decreasing due to lower shipments of lead, copper, silver, and zinc that led to a poor performance of the mining sector (US $ 640.6 million), which fell by more than 21%. The second most important primary sub-sector is oil and natural gas with a growth of 8.5%. Traditional agriculture fell by 32.5%, while fishing fell by 38%.

Peru's total exports to Korea amounted to US$ 850.1 million, which represented a fall of -14.1%.

Source: El regional Piura

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