Peru Economic Conditions

By | December 21, 2021

The area used, from the agricultural point of view, of the whole Peruvian territory is 15 million ha, of which 13 million are natural pasture; the remainder is cultivated land, of which 500,000 ha are set aside annually. Of the entire cultivated area, 43.9% is for cereals, 14.6% for tuber plants, 15.5% for industrial crops, 9.1% for fodder plants and finally 8.5% to legumes.

Wheat, which occupied a greater area in previous years, was cultivated in 1958 on 154,000 ha (production 1,500,000 q); maize out of 235,000 ha gave a production of 2,900,000 q; barley out of 182,000 has about 2,000,000 q. The cultivation of rice has had a notable increase; in fact, from 38,000 ha in 1949-50 (prod. 1,180,000 q), it extended over 55,000 ha in 1952-53 and over 59,000 ha in 1958, the year in which about 1,990,000 q were produced. In recent years the cultivation of cotton has become very widespread, which was cultivated in 1948-49 on 145,000 ha (580,000 q of fiber and 980,000 q of seed), and in 1951-52 it extended to 160,000 ha, to reach 200,000 ha in the following two years, in which the production was 920,000 q of fiber and 1,560,000 q of seeds; finally, in 1957, 1 was produced on an area of ​​241,000 ha. 050,000 q of fiber and 1,700,000 q of seeds. Most of the product, 75%, is absorbed by the export. The area occupied by sugar cane from 1948-49 has more than doubled; in fact from 30.000 ha it had extended, in 1956, on 62.000 ha, and gave 7.100.000 q of sugar, exported for more than 55% of the total produced. For Peru economics and business, please check

Attempts are being made to improve the conditions of Peruvian agriculture with an irrigation plan; in the southern Peru, on the western side of the Andean Cordillera, the El Frayle reservoir was built, whose area is 14 km 2, obtained by damming a deep cañón, in which the Río Blanco (affl. del Río Kilos); this reservoir, with a capacity of over 200 million m 3, is intended for the irrigation of a very large area south of Arequipa.

In 1957 the Peruvian livestock patrimony was made up as follows: sheep 15,204,000, goats 3,464,000, cattle 3,380,000, pigs 1,281,000, horses 518,000, mules 173,000, donkeys 388,000. In addition, there were 650,000 llamas and 1,169,000 alpacas.

Fishing is becoming increasingly important; from 1808 boats used for this activity in 1951 (the year in which 100,000 tons of fish were landed), there were already 4000 tons in 1958, while the quantity of fish landed increased to 750,000 tons; the fish preservation industry is also developing at the same time and currently 63 companies are engaged in this work and by now 3/4 of the fish caught are used for industry and export (esp. in 1954, 26,500 t).

Far greater possibilities are open in the field of mining exploitation. The oil fields gave a production of 2,176,000 t in 1952, 2,268,000 t in 1954, 2,248,000 t in 1956 and, finally, 2,350,000 t in 1959. The extraction of silver from 320,000 kg of 1949 it continued to increase, until it more than doubled in 1959 (796,300 kg); the 3,493 kg gold mined in 1949 reached 4,666 kg in 1958. Coal production in 1959 was 170,000 t. Much more remarkable is the increase in the production of iron; new fields were discovered in Marcona, which are estimated to constitute a reserve of 100 million tonnes (content 60%); 885,500 tons of iron were extracted in 1953 and 2,200,000 tons in 1956; exports increased from 553,200 t to 1,629,600 t respectively. The recently developed steel industry leans on the production of iron. The Chimbote steel complex (400 km north of Lima) was officially inaugurated in 1958, providing an average of 65,000 tonnes of steel per year.

Guano production in 1957 was 285,407 t. Hydroelectric resources amounted, in 1959, to 461,760 kW, with a production of 2600 million kWh (of which 540 million of water). In 1957 the hydroelectric power station of Huallauca, on the Rio Santa, was inaugurated, which will produce, in full yield, 1 billion kWh per year; part of this energy feeds the Chimbote plant. The textile industry, in 1957, had 26 main factories and several other small ones, with a complex of 207,000 spindles and 7,005 looms. The cement industry gave, again in 1957, a production of 547,000 tons.

Communications. – The merchant navy in 1959 consisted of 55 ships (taking into account only those with over 100 tonnes), for a total tonnage of 121,084 tonnes. The railway network in 1958 was 2,726 km. The current road network is 39,119 km. The Peruvian section of the Panamerican Highway runs parallel to the coast and is 2780 km long, from Aguas Verdes (on the border with Ecuador) to Concordia (on the Chilean border). Two branches connect the coast with Amazonian Peru: the transandine Pacasmayo-Moyobamba and Lima-Cerro de Pasco-Huánuco-Pucalpa. Civil aviation recorded, for 1958, a movement of 8,500,000 km flown (130,000,000 passengers / km).

Foreign trade. – For the four-year period 1955-58, foreign trade averaged 5764 million soles per year for imports, and 5147 million soles for exports. 20% of exports are represented by cotton, 14% by sugar, 7% by iron, 8% by lead and again 8% by oil and its derivatives.

Finances. – The traits of the country’s economic evolution over the last decade are common to those of underdeveloped countries in general: significant increase in national income, which partly reflects the rise in the price level; chronic deficit in the external current balance of payments, financed with the contribution of foreign capital; constant increase in public debt as a consequence of the deficit of the state budget; strong development of the monetary supply and bank credit.

After the exchange rate reform, implemented in November 1949, the official parity of the sol has not yet been declared. The current system provides for two distinct variable exchange rates. The transfer of currency is mandatory for commercial export revenues and optional for financial receipts, for which exporters receive exchange certificates negotiable on the market. As of May 17, 1960, the certificate system was abolished and unified. The exchange rates applied ranged from a low of 14.95 soles per US dollar to a high of 27.70 soles in December 1959, which, with slight increases, were applied for the settlement of imports.

Peru economics