TABLE-Peru posts record trade gap in 2015 despite Dec surplus
(Adds breakdown of December surplus, context)
LIMA Feb 5 (Reuters) - Peru posted a record $2.86 billion trade deficit in 2015 as mineral exports sank on slumping global prices, but the Andean nation logged its first monthly trade surplus in 11 months in December.
Last year's trade deficit was the second straight annual shortfall after more than a decade of surpluses, central bank data showed Friday.
Peru is the world's third biggest copper and zinc producer and the commodity slump has dragged down exports and economic growth.
However, rising copper output from new mining projects is expected to help offset the impacts of weak prices.
In December, copper production jumped 63 percent from the same month a year ago and the start of the Las Bambas project this year will likely boost volumes further.
Dec 2015 Dec 2014 2015 2014 Balance +210 mln +282 mln -$2.864 bln -$1.276 bln Exports 3.170 bln 3.379 bln $34.157 bln $39.533 bln Imports 2.960 bln 3.097 bln $37.021 bln $40.809 bln
(Reporting By Marco Aquino Editing by W Simon)
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