Peru posts September trade surplus of $403 million

LIMA Fri Nov 9, 2012 1:29pm EST

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru posted a trade surplus of $403 million in September, the central bank said on Friday, bringing the global minerals exporter's trade balance for the first nine months this year to $3.2 billion.

The surplus follows a deficit in August of $52 million and is down 49 percent from September 2011, when the surplus was of $794 million, the central bank's manager of economic studies, Adrian Armas, said in a conference call.

Peru is a top exporter of gold, silver, copper and zinc, but its mineral sales have wavered on lower prices amid the global economic slowdown.

The central bank has trimmed its view for a 2012 trade surplus to $2.2 billion as the Andean country has posted four months of trade deficits this year.

The central bank said exports in September totaled $3.893 billion, exceeding imports of $3.490 billion.

Armas also said the central bank expects "moderate" inflation in November, as some food prices come down.

The central bank decided on Thursday to keep its 4.25 percent interest rate unchanged as it has for the past year and a half.

Peru's economy is on track to post a 6 percent expansion this year on strong domestic demand, even as inflation for the 12 months through October has eased to 3.25 percent, above the central bank's 1-3 percent target range.

(Reporting By Teresa Cespedes; Editing by Leslie Adler)