From the looks of things, 2014 was something of a hiccup for Peru and its trade with South Florida, an aberration. So far in 2015, Peru’s trade is up sharply and it has recovered ground lost in 2014 in its ranking with South Florida. Through the first four months of 2015, the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data available, Peru ranks No. 7 among all South Florida trade partners and its trade has advanced more than all but one nation.
In South Florida trade, it ranks behind only No. 1 Brazil, No. 2 Colombia, No. 3 China, No. 4 Chile, No. 5 Dominican Republic and No. 6 Honduras, all of which have been covered in previous columns.
U.S. rank: Peru ranks No. 35 among all trade partners with the United States, a jump of two positions since the same time period one year ago. That is despite the fact that trade is down 13.68 percent from the previous year and 21.79 percent from the record start in 2013. In fact, the $4.66 billion total is the lowest four-month total since 2010; the last year trade did not average $1 billion per month. Within Latin America, Peru ranks behind No. 11 Brazil, No. 25 Colombia and No. 26 Chile and one spot ahead of No. 36 Ecuador, which has dropped one in rank this year.
South Florida trade: South Florida trade with Peru is up $234.18 million in 2015, an increase that is second only to the increase registered by No. 12 Switzerland, at $433.73 million. Peru’s 21 percent increase put its four-month total at $1.35 billion, enough to allow it to surpass Venezuela and Costa Rica. Exports are running at a record level for the fifth year in the last six, up 11.52 percent to $964.12 million. Imports, however, are growing even more rapidly, up 53.65 percent from the same four months of 2014. But they are well off the record-setting pace of 2013, when the import total was $689.90 million. The 2015 total is, despite being 44.14 percent below the 2013 pace, the second-highest total on record through April. While South Florida trade with Peru is growing rapidly, overall South Florida trade with the world is down this year 3.72 percent this year.
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Importance to South Florida: Peru is accounting for 3.71 percent of all South Florida trade so far in 2015, second only to the 3.99 percent total of the first four months of 2013. Generally speaking, Peru is gaining importance it its trade with South Florida. It first topped 2 percent of all South Florida trade in 2006 and has not fallen below since. It then topped 3 percent — and nearly 4 percent — in 2013 and has topped 3 percent again this year. A decade ago, Peru ranked as South Florida’s 16th most important trade partner. Five years ago, it ranked No. 10.
South Florida competition: South Florida is generally the leading U.S. gateway for trade with Peru. In 2015, it is accounting for a record 28.93 percent of that trade. It has accounted for more than 20 percent six of the last seven years and seven of the last nine. Houston is the Customs district that gives South Florida the most competition. In 2015, its market share stands at 17.23 percent, but that is its lowest percentage since 2008. New Orleans, New York City and Great Falls, Montana, are the only three other Customs districts to have ever topped 10 percent in the last decade.
South Florida exports to Peru: Overall South Florida exports to Peru are up $99.62 million this year, with top-ranked cellphones alone increasing $67.79 million. Cellphone exports have increased 63.65 percent from 2014 and almost doubled — up 99.22 percent — from 2013. The only other export to have grown more than $10 million in value through the first four months of the year is fork lifts and other trucks with lifts. Before this year, the highest total was $632,269 in 2010. The 2015 total is $10.30 million, enough to propel it from the No. 512-ranked export to No. 17.
South Florida imports from Peru: Here are Peru’s import totals through the first four months of each of the last five years: $237.08 million in 2011, $188.94 million in 2012, $689.90 million in 2013, $250.80 million in 2014 and $385.35 million in 2015. The roller-coaster ride is all due to the top import: gold. Gold imports in 2015 are up 138.45 percent from 2014 but down 68.53 percent from 2013 and up 999.58 percent from 2013. Gold became a significant South Florida import during the global economic crisis — largely being imported initially from Mexico and Colombia and then exported to Switzerland. As the global economy stabilized, the price of gold, and interest it in, waned somewhat. So far this year, Peru is the fourth-most important source of gold imports into South Florida, following only Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia and ahead of Mexico. All four of these nation’s imports are down in 2015.
Surplus/Deficit: South Florida’s trade surplus with Peru through April of this year was $578.77 million, second only to the surplus registered by Houston, at $596.10 million. That surplus has generally grown over the year, even with the large increase in gold imports, and twice topped $600 million — in 2012 and 2014.
Coming next: South Florida’s No. 8-ranked trade partner is Venezuela, a troubled country that, unlike Peru, is becoming less important to the Miami area’s airports and seaports.
Reach Ken Roberts, president of World City, at email@example.com.
Peru’s import trade with South Florida
April 2015 YTD
Misc. fresh vegetables
Fish fillets, chilled or frozen
T-shirts, tank tops, knit or crocheted
Imports of returned exports for repair
Dates, figs, pineapples and other fruit
Men’s or boys’ shirts,
knitted or crocheted
Silver, various forms
Sweaters, pullovers, vest,
knit or crocheted
Women’s or girls’ blouses & shirts,
knit or crochetted
Women’s or girls’ suits,
knit or crocheted
Misc. vegetables, not frozen
Glazed ceramic tiles
Source: WorldCity analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data