(Corrects import figure for June 2014 in table to 3.269 bln, not 2.529 bln)
LIMA Aug 8 Peru's trade deficit grew to nearly $2.5 billion in the first half of the year after widening $370 million in June as gold exports tumbled, the central bank said on Friday.
In June 2013, the South American country posted a $71.7 million trade surplus.
Lower global prices for gold and weaker production contributed to the $370 million deficit, said Adrian Armas, the central bank's chief economist.
Peru is the world's fifth top gold producer and third leading copper and silver producer. Mineral exports make up 60 percent of overall exports.
In the first six months of the year, Peru ran up a $2.428 billion deficit, according to central bank data.
Last month the central bank nearly tripled its previous forecast for this year's trade deficit to $2.6 billion.
The following is a breakdown of Peru's balance of trade (all figures in dollars):
June May June 2013
Balance -370 mln -746.3 mln +71.7 mln
Exports 2.899 bln 2.751 bln 3.280 bln
Imports 3.269 bln 3.497 bln 3.208 bln (Reporting by Teresa Cespedes; Editing by James Dalgleish and Tom Brown)