Total export earnings contracted by $2.4million in August this year, according to the Central Bank of Samoa’s Foreign Trade and International Commodity Prices Report.
The development follows three consecutive months of increases this year.
But although export earnings contracted by 19.9 percent to $9.6 million, they were 33.0 percent higher than the same month of 2014.
Largely responsible for this reduction was a 35.2 percent drop in locally produced exports despite an 18.4 percent expansion in re-exports.
In addition, this monthly decrease was below its average increases of 19.9 percent and 10.4 percent for the past 3 and 5 years respectively.
Total exports in the first 2 months of 2015/16 was 63.7 percent higher than the same period of last owing to the sharp increase in fish, nonu juice and taro exports.
The Pacific region remained as the major destination for exports with a combined share of 67.6 percent while the Asia, North America, and Europe recorded shares of 24.8 percent, 6.6 percent and 0.8 percent respectively.
Total import payments decreased by 32.8 percent ($25.8 million) to $53.0 million following reductions of $18.7 million, $4.1 million and $3.1 million in non-petroleum private sector, government and petroleum imports respectively. Moreover, total imports were lower by 35.5 percent when compared to August 2014.
This current decrease over last year was lower compared to its average increases of 9.9 percent and 14.2 percent in the past 3 and 5 years respectively.
The Pacific region remained Samoa’s main source of imports with a share of 48.2 percent while Asia, North America and Europe accounted for shares of 41.7 percent, 9.4 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.
For the first 2 months of 2015/16, total import payments were 18.3 percent below that of the corresponding period in 2014/15. This is attributed to lower government and other private sector imports.
WORLD COMMODITY PRICES
International commodity prices mostly recorded a downward trend in August 2015. On the whole, modest decreases were recorded for export commodity prices due to weak global demand. On the import side, prices of beef and sugar went up whereas wheat prices fell due to strong supply.
CRUDE OIL PRICE
According to the World Bank, the average spot price of crude oil contracted by 15.8 percent to USD$45.70 per barrel, falling for the third consecutive month due to on-going strong supply. Furthermore, when compared to August 2014, it was down by 54.3 percent. The current decrease was well below its average decrease of -0.4 percent and increase of 9.5 percent in the past 3 and 5 years respectively.