Corn, From All Origins, Enters Peru Duty-Free


Jul 21, 2023 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 2 minutes

In Peru, maize is planted in the three natural regions, Coast, Sierra, and Selva, and around 56% of the national area planted with Corn corresponds to hard yellow Corn, whose cultivation predominates on the coast and the jungle. In contrast, starchy Corn dominates in the Andes, although it can be planted in the three regions.

After potatoes, starchy Corn is considered one of the leading food of the inhabitants of the Sierra of Peru, where most of the production is intended for self-consumption in different forms. Starchy Corn has a great social, economic, and strategy for the comprehensive development of the Peruvian population, also representing an essential item to guarantee food security for all of Peru.

Although Peru has been improving their productivity levels at the national level, which are currently located at about 3.3 tons/ha (FAO, 2017), the yields of starchy Corn averages in the Sierra continue to be low, which on average does not exceed 1.3 tons/ha. These returns are mainly due to improper seed selection, low fertility of soils, and agronomics work that does not adapt to the established technical recommendations for cultivation, among others. For this reason, it is necessary to unify efforts and wills between the organizations of the state, national and local, with the productive sector, agro-industry, and agricultural Research Institutions, including national universities and regional, to find solutions under the medium sustainability approach environment, in time and space, to improve maize productivity in these Sierra regions.

In December 2022, Peru’s production of hard yellow Corn amounted to 132 thousand 728 tons. It increased by 7.9% compared to the same month of 2021, determined by the better yields obtained, this grain being the primary input for preparing balanced feeds for the poultry industry and other breedings. This was announced by the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) through the technical report.

Among the departments that stood out for their higher levels of production were Piura (116.1%), La Libertad (73.6%), Ucayali (66.5%), and Lima (22.9%), which together contributed 48.0% of the national total. Likewise, Amazonas (58.4%), Cajamarca (30.2%), Tumbes (14.1%) and Pasco (3.7%) showed positive results; however, it decreased in San Martín (-77.2%), Ica (-29.2%), Junín (-26.2%), Lambayeque (-19.5%), Huánuco (-10.5%), Ancash (-10.4%) and Loreto (-3.2%).

Corn Import in Peru

According to AgFlow data, Peru imported 570,000 tons of Corn from Argentina in June 2023, followed by Bolivia (15,000 tons). Corn, from all origins, enters Peru duty-free. Peru’s unilateral elimination of import tariffs on most commodities in 2011 eliminated many trade advantages of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. However, Peru maintains the Peruvian Price Band System for Corn, activated when commodity prices are low. The U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement established a duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) of 500,000 MT for U.S.-origin Corn with annual increases of six percent and full duty-free access within 12 years. Since 2020, U.S. Corn has entered Peru duty-free. This exclusion from the price band system makes U.S. Corn more competitive in the Peruvian market at low international prices.

In 2011, Peru established a ten-year moratorium on planting genetically engineered crops, including Corn. This moratorium prevents producers from being able to choose to cultivate genetically engineered varieties that could assist them in overcoming production challenges such as climate change. The moratorium was extended in January 2021 for another 15 years to December 31, 2035, which will continue to hinder Peruvian producers’ ability to improve their competitiveness. In February 2023, Peru’s sanitary agency (SENASA) established a nationwide sanitary emergency through the end of the year to combat the spread of HPAI.

Other sources: USDA

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