The Central Bank of Samoa has issued its latest Foreign Trade and International Commodity Prices Report. Dated 2 February 2016, the report looks into export, imports and oil prices developments for December 2015. This is what the report says:
For the third consecutive month, total export revenues edged down by 11.9 percent ($0.9 million) to $6.7 million. Mainly responsible for this month’s lower export receipts was a 29.0 percent decrease in the value of domestically produced exports whereas re-exports rose by 14.0 percent.
Total exports however was 7.9 percent higher than its level in December 2014, which was lower than its 9.1 percent average increase in the past 3 years but above its 5.3 percent rise in the past 5 years. Total exports in the first six months of 2015/16 were 54.5 percent higher than the same period in 2014/15. The Pacific region remained the main export destination for Samoa at 68.8 percent while Asia, North America and Europe recorded shares of 24.2 percent, 5.9 percent and 1.1 percent respectively.
Total import payments in the month under review fell 3.2 percent ($2.3 million) to $69.4 million reflecting reductions in imports by government (down 46.3 percent), petroleum (down 1.1 percent) and non-petroleum private sector slightly by 0.02 percent. Total imports was also 8.5 percent lower compared to the same month a year ago, which was way below its average expansions of 8.3 percent and 5.7 percent in the past 3 and 5 years respectively.
The Pacific region was the main source of 5amoa’s imports with a share of 48.3 percent whilst Asia, North America and Europe recorded shares of 39.4 percent, 12.1 percent and 0.1 percent respectively. Similarly, total import payments for the first six months of 2015/15 contracted 4.6 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2014/15, this situation was mainly driven by both reductions in government and petroleum imports.
International commodity prices were largely mixed in December 2015. On the export side, most commodity prices went up on relatively weaker supply such as coconut oil, copra and banana prices. Partially offsetting these gains were lower imported prices of meat and wheat following the strong US dollar and ample global supply.
CRUDE OIL PRICE
According to the World Bank, the average spot price of crude oil fell further by 15.1 percent to USD$36.60 per barrel as global supplies continue to outweigh demand. Furthermore, its price was 39.7 percent lower when compared to December 2014, a level that was much higher than its average decline of 4.9 percent but lower than its average increase of 5.1 percent in the past 5 years.