Peru Economic Sectors

By | December 21, 2021

Livestock breeding. Fishing. – The livestock patrimony of Peru is made up as follows: cattle, 1.8 million; sheep, 11.2 million; goats, 638,000; horses, 432,000; donkeys, 265,000; mules, 130,000; pigs, 668,000; blade, 599,000; alpaca, 608,000. Cattle, mostly raised in the wild, are numerous in the Sierra (the department of Puno is in first place, which owns 14.4%, followed by the department of Caiamarca with 13.4%); in Montaña they do not stand up to the climate, and buffaloes are being introduced here. Although the number of cattle tends to increase, the production of meat and milk is not yet sufficient to meet the country’s demand. Sheep farming has found excellent development conditions on the highlands (the department of Puno owns 56%); in the more northern ones, where the jalca predominates, goat farming prevails. The breeding of llamas, used as pack animals, and alpacas, which produce very fine long-fiber wool, is also widespread on the highlands. The production of wool is considerable: it was 27,000 q. in 1896 and reached a maximum, in 1917, of 68,000 q.; in recent years it has been around 40,000 q. (42,000 in 1931), 60% data from alpacas and largely exported.

Horses are common on the coast; in the mountainous region, for obvious reasons, mules prevail. Pigs, mostly of poor breed, are rapidly increasing.

The Peruvian waters are extraordinarily abundant in fish, because the cold Humboldt Current is rich in plankton: but the fishing is carried out with primitive means and systems and is of little importance. Callao and Mollendo are the main fishing centers (in the first there is a nucleus of Sicilian fishermen). At 300-400 km. whales are hunted from the coast; Pisco is equipped with modern plants for oil extraction. For Peru business, please check

Mining riches. As already mentioned, oil and copper have replaced precious metals and guano in the export trade. The first oil well was drilled near Negritos, in northern Peru, immediately south of the border with Ecuador towards the end of the 19th century: and there are the oil areas from which all Peruvian production comes: the Negritos area, which gives 80% of the total and which belongs to International Petroleum Co., which owns a large refinery in Talara; the Lobitos area; the Zorritos area. Production has risen rapidly in the last decades: 36,500 tons in 1900, 167,300 in 1910, 374,500 in 1920, 1,101,500 in 1924 (1st year in which it surpassed the million tons), 1,656,000 in 1930, 1,850,000 in 1933. The quality of the oil produced varies greatly: most of it gives from 20 to 35% of gasoline, from 16 to 36% of kerosene, from 20 to 30% of naphtha, a small percentage of lubricating oils and a considerable percentage of fuel oil. This and crude oil are widely used in the country by locomotives and ships, and account for 70% of the total export value of petroleum products.

Traces of oil have been found in the Junín department, on the eastern flanks of the Sierra and in the Montaña: therefore the development that the oil industry in Peru may take in the future does not depend solely on coastal fields. Furthermore, it must be considered that the probable deposits of Montaña are located in a region that is not only extremely isolated, which a mountainous bulwark like the Andes separates from the Pacific and which is thousands of km away. from the Atlantic, but also unhealthy, uninhabited, covered by formidable forests. In any case, the ever-increasing demand for oil on the world market may make it possible in the future to exploit these fields as well.

Copper also entered the Peruvian trade in a notable way only in the first thirty years of the twentieth century. The mines of Cerro de Pasco, Morococha and Casapalca, in central Peru, give more than 90% of the total product, which was 48,300 tons. in 1930 and 22,900 in 1932; they are exploited by the North American Cerro de Pasco Copper Corporation, and are all located at great height (at 4300 meters those of Cerro de Pasco, at 4400 those of Morococha), which makes the work carried out by Amerindî particularly tiring under the direction of foreign engineers and geologists. The fields are connected by railway trunks with the Callao-Lima-Oroya-Huancayo line.

The production of silver has recovered with the intensification of the exploitation at Cerro de Pasco and Salpo, and now Peru is in 4th place in world production, after Mexico, the United States and Canada: in 1930 if they produced 482,000 kg., and, in 1932, 209,000. Gold is found in many parts of the country, and the principal copper and lead mines yield considerable quantities; exploitation also takes place in some valleys of the Amazon region. The production was 2766 kg. in 1930 and 1729 kg. in 1932. Lead was released near Casapalca, Pataz and Atocha (19,770 tons in 1930, 1200 in 1932). To the west of Cerro de Pasco, in Minasragra, there is the most important vanadium mine in the world; Peru supplies on average 80% of the world product of this mineral (447,264 kilograms in 1930). A British company works large deposits of borax located in Laguna de Salinas near Arequipa (less than 300 tons per year; but in 1927, 11,850 tons). There are vast deposits of iron that have not yet been exploited: that of Marcona, between the Río de Ica and Puerto Lomas, about fifteen kilometers away. from the coast, it seems to contain 500 million tons. of ore, which could give 60 to 65% iron. Coal is not in short supply (180,000 tons per year), but most of the deposits are inaccessible. Other minerals are zinc, bismuth, antimony, mercury. The guano that is harvested on the Peruvian coasts is the most popular on the market, because the arid climate protects it from losses of ammonia nitrogen and phosphoric acid, which are its active principles. The deposits (famous those of the Chincha Islands) began to be exploited in 1835, but in a few decades they almost reached exhaustion. From 1909 they were subjected to the monopoly of the state; the current production is around 80,000 tons. yearly.

Industries. – Industries are of little importance, except those connected with mining (copper foundries employ the largest number of people) or with agriculture. Among these are the numerous sugar refineries and cane mills in the coastal region, the grain mills (the largest are in Callao and Lima) and the rice husks (Chiclayo, Lambayeque, Pacasmayo, etc.). The textile industry has developed in particular recently, with 86,000 spindles and 4000 looms. The largest wool mills are located in Lima and Cuzco, the largest cotton mills in Lima.

It is estimated that 40 million meters of cotton fabrics are produced annually. There are many (but only a dozen large) tanneries, which supply a considerable number of skins for export. Characteristic of Catacaos (department of Piura) and of Eten (Lambayeque) is the panama hat industry, which imports the raw material (the fibers of the leaves of the Carludovica palmata) from Ecuador.

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