Discussion Papers

No.201 Structural Changes in Asparagus Production and Exports from Peru

by SHIMIZU Tatsuya

May 2009


Asparagus is the star product among non-traditional agricultural exports (NTAXs) in Peru. The export of preserved asparagus has expanded since the end of the 1980s. Although there was some stagnation in the mid-1990s, exports of both preserved and fresh asparagus constitute the second most important agricultural export in Peru after coffee.

Besides the change in demand on the international market, the important factor behind the shift from preserved to fresh asparagus is the change in the supply structure of asparagus. In the case of preserved asparagus, Peruvian exports expanded because of Peru's competitiveness, which originated from favorable production factors, such as climate, soil and labor. However, because of the growing presence of Chinese products on the international market, Peru's products lost their competitiveness. In the case of fresh asparagus, the investment of agricultural corporations in production and their innovation in integration different economic processes from the point of production to the time of export built a successful supply structure that is suited for the export of fresh agricultural produce.

Keywords: agriculture, exports, asparagus, Peru
JEL classification: N56, O13, Q13, Q17

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