Peru is a major fruit producer within South America’s agricultural industry. Likewise, its monetary stability make it an attractive destination for international investors within the agribusiness sector. Since 1991, Peru’s national currency has been the Sol (PEN), which is a free-floating currency. Nevertheless, Peru’s Central Reserve Bank, which administers the Sol, seeks to maintain price stability against the United States Dollar (USD) in the Foreign Exchange market. Throughout the last decade, the Sol (PEN) was strongest between October 2012 and April 2013, when it averaged 2.5 PEN against one USD. Meanwhile, the Sol was weakest on February 2016, when it was valued at 3.5 PEN to one USD. Currently, the Sol is trading at approximately 3.2 PEN to one USD.
Foreign Exchange and Fruit Production in Peru
One of the niche agricultural products cultivated in Peru are table grapes, which are specifically for fresh consumption as opposed to those destined for the production of wine, juice, or raisins. Within the table grapes category, there are both red and white-green grapes as well as seeded and seedless varieties. Like all grape varieties, table grapes require specific climate and weather conditions in order to thrive and yield abundant fruit. In Peru, grape cultivation has increased from a total area of 7.690 hectares in 1961 to 27.946 hectares in 2016. Similarly, total grape production in Peru has increased from 56.456 metric tons in 1961 to 689.957 metric tons in 2016.
Grapevines are seasonal plants that go through several stages every year, including dormancy during the wintertime. In the Northern Hemisphere, grapevines are harvested for fruit between September and October. Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, grapes are picked between February and April. During 2016, the global exports of fresh grapes totaled US$7.5 billion and the single largest exporter was Chile. Simultaneously, in 2016, total global imports of fresh grapes accounted for US$7.9 billion and the largest importer was the United States. Furthermore, in recent years, Chilean and Peruvian table grapes have penetrated deeper into the retail sector in the United States, particularly during the Northern Hemisphere’s offseason. During 2016, Peru exported US$642 million worth of grapes. That year, the main destination for Peruvian grapes was the United States, which purchased 38% or US$246 million of Peru’s grape exports. Peru’s second largest markets were Hong Kong and mainland China, which together purchased 17.9% or US$114.6 million of the country’s grape exports.
(Read more about Asian and North American Trade with Latin America)