Trade Peru–European Union

General Directorate of Research and Studies on Foreign Trade

The Peru-European Union (EU) agreement was in force for six years in March 2019. The EU is the country’s third largest trading partner, after China and the United States. Trade grew in recent years, bordering on US$ 12 billion in 2018 (13% of Peru’s trade). However, in the first half of 2019 it decreased 13% due to lower exports (-22%).

Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy are Peru’s main European partners (66% of trade with the EU). The country exports copper (21% of the total), fruit (19%), zinc (9%), natural gas (7%) and coffee (5%) to the EU. The EU is the first destination for Peruvian agricultural exports and the third for total exports (15% of the total).

Another 30% of Peru-EU trade is carried out with nine countries: the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Bulgaria, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Poland and Austria (average trade). The UK is the fifth largest trading partner (8%). The remaining 3% of trade is with 11 countries (low trade). Finally, there are four countries with which there is very little trade; it does not exceed US$10 million.

In 2018, Peru exported goods to the bloc worth more than US$7 billion, an amount 11% higher than that registered in the previous year. However, in the first half of 2019, exports fell 22% as a result of lower prices of raw materials, which reduced sales of copper (-35%) and zinc (-28%). Also, fruit exports fell 11%.

The agricultural sector, which accounts for a third of total exports, grew steadily until reaching a record in 2018 (US$ 2,498 million). The figure decreased 10% in the first half of 2019 as a result of lower shipments of avocado (-11%) and grapes (-11%). In contrast, blueberry shipments grew 50%.

Agro-exports go mainly to the Netherlands (41%), while minerals and hydrocarbons predominantly go to Spain. At the product level, Germany is the main destination for copper, coffee and zinc oxide; Spain for zinc, pota, and natural gas; Netherlands fruit and tin; and the United Kingdom is the main destination for gold.

Peru imports mainly pharmaceutical products and vehicles from the bloc, which decreased 4% and 5% in the first half of 2019, affecting the global result of imports. Likewise, purchases of the Lima metro train (-73%) and plastics and their manufacturers (-10) fell. In contrast, the purchase of steel products increased 27%.

In the first half of 2019, trade exceeded US$5 billion. Peruvian exports to the bloc exceeded US$2.7 billion in that period, registering a favorable trade balance for Peru of US$443 million. For its part, the main goods imported by Peru from the bloc are pharmaceutical products (6%), vehicles (6%) and steel products (4%). In total, Peru exports more than 2,000 products to the bloc (10-digit national subheading) and imports 5,000 products.

In the first half of 2019, trade with Spain, Europe’s main trading partner, decreased by 26%. Likewise, trade with the United Kingdom (-30%), Belgium (-29%), Italy (-9%) and Germany (-5%) fell. In contrast, trade with Sweden and France increased 25% and 1%, respectively, driven by the strong increase in exports of 225% and 18%, respectively.