Peru Sees First Quarterly Trade Deficit Since 2008

Peru posted a trade deficit of $223 million in the first quarter of this year, its first deficit since 2008, the Central Bank said.

The deficit highlights the risks facing Peru’s export-driven economy as a boom in commodity prices that supported growth during the past decade is coming to an end. Commodities such as copper, gold, silver and zinc make up 60 percent of Peru’s exports.

Exports in the first quarter fell 16.6 percent to $9.99 billion, while imports rose 6.6 percent to $10.2 billion, according to the Central Bank.

The $223 million trade deficit compares to a trade surplus of $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2012.

“It’s likely that we will revise our projections for the trade balance downwards if the commodity prices stay the same,” said Adrian Armas, the chief economist of the Central Bank.

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