Sep. 19, 2016
The volume of food imports in Peru has increased by 17%, rising to almost 185,000 tons, according to estimations by the Foreign Trade Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Lima (CCEX) between 2012 and 2015.
Sugar, cereals, and vegetables recorded a higher purchase volume during this period, with a concentration of 28%, 24%, and 10% respectively of total food imports.
Peru is a producer of sugar, but its production level is not enough to supply the strong domestic demand. As a result, the country recorded 28% growth in sugar imports during the evaluation period.
In 2015, the import volume exceeded 360,000 tons of sugar, and the main provider was Colombia, with 62% of the total, followed by Brazil at 19% and Guatemala at 18%.
Rice has the highest demand in the country, but imports of rice amounted to only 200,000 tons per year, accounting for 78% of all imported cereals during this period. According to CCEX, the major suppliers are Uruguay, with 65%; Brazil, 24%; Thailand, 7%; and the United States, 3%.
Large volumes of legumes and vegetables were imported in Peru during the period because local production did not satisfy the domestic demand for beans.
Among vegetables, only five types accounted for more than 80% of the total imports in the sector, with lentils taking the lead at 32% of the total, followed by frozen potatoes (21%), peas (18%), beans (8%), and chickpeas (3%).
In the case of lentils, the country maintains its average import rate, with Canada and the United States as its main suppliers.
Only 10 countries account for some 85% of Peru's total food imports, with the main supplier, Colombia, contributing 19%, followed by Chile with 15%; Brazil, 13%; Uruguay, 12%; the United States, 8%; Guatemala, 5%; Canada, 4%; and Ecuador, New Zealand, and Argentina, 3%.
CCEX authorities noted that 55% of imports by Peru are not subject to import taxes and the remaining 45% must pay between 6% and 11% tax. Imports most sensitive to taxes are meats, fruits, and vegetables.
The authorities explained that trade agreements signed by Peru have helped minimize or completely eliminate this tax.