Imports up 40 per cent between January and February

Samoa imported $74.9 million worth of goods in February, a jump of nearly 40 per cent from the beginning of the year, the Samoa Bureau of Statistics reports.

The country imported more fuel, food and beverages and tobacco than in previous months, with fuels and lubricants remaining our top import, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the value of all imports.

The trade deficit remained strong in February, with a total of $67.6 million between our import and export values.

It is a fairly middling trade deficit. The largest deficit in the last three years was in November 2019 with $91,692 while the smallest was in January this year with $44,841,000.

Samoa’s exports shrunk in February, with a total value of $7.3 million down 26.3 per cent from January.

S.B.S. reports Samoa exported significantly less food and live animals, a whole $2.5 million less than the month before which had records of $5,073,000.

The exports that saw the highest increase were ‘plastics and articles’ which increased from January’s exports by 4,071 per cent, and ‘edible offal’ which increased 1,353 per cent.

More than half of all Samoa’s exports went to American Samoa New Zealand and countries too small to list, while the remainder went to Tokelau, Taiwan, Australia, China, the United States of America, Japan, Fiji, and Singapore (in order of highest to lowest value).

February import records show Samoa imported nearly $21.5 million worth of mineral fuels and lubricants (up more than 2000 per cent from January) and nearly $18.5 million worth of food and live animals. 

Imports of sugar dropped more than half to just $369,000 from the month before as did imports of metal tools and cutlery, and cocoa which hit a record low of just $14,000. 

Imports of fruit and nuts went up 200 per cent from January, and glass and glassware went up 670 per cent. 

Samoa imported the highest value of goods from Singapore in February, which S.B.S attributes to large purchases of petroleum products. With $22,487,000 worth of Singapore imports, the figure represents 30 per cent of $74,938,000 worth of imports.

There was also a significant increase in imports from New Zealand since January, with a jump of 22.8 per cent. 

Samoa also imported significantly more from Tonga, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam than in January.

The largest import decreases were from Japan, which recorded a 67 per cent drop from the previous month and Hong Kong (60 per cent).

The March 2020 report is expected on May 15.

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