Peru’s mining sector slowed down in 2019

Las Bambas copper mine in Apurímac, Peru. (Image courtesy of Minera Las Bambas).

Peru’s mining sector fell by 0.05% in 2019, a report by the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics shows.

According to the government agency, a 0.84% contraction in the metallic mining subsector is to blame for the downfall. In the world’s No. 2 copper producer and sixth-largest gold producer, such a drop carries so much weight that the 4.6% growth experienced by the oil and gas subsector wasn’t good enough to make up for it. 

In 2019, Peru produced almost 2.5 million fine metric tons of copper or 12% of the global output of the red metal

An analysis by news agency Infobae states that tensions between the United States and China are in part responsible for the decline in the mining sector, as the Asian country is Peru’s main commercial partner.

For 2020, however, the outlook seems more positive as the energy and mining minister Juan Carlos Liu said that mining sector investments are expected to amount to approximately $6.3 billion across several initiatives, compared to $6.1 billion last year.

Overall, 2019 saw the South American country’s economy experiencing its weakest year in a decade, with the GDP growing only by 2.6%, a stark difference when compared to the 4% growth of 2018.

A 25% dive in the fishing sector, the nation’s second most important economic driver, is also to blame for the slowdown, the Institute of Statistics said.

Despite this, Peru’s economic growth is still way above the average in the region, estimated at 0.1% by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. 

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