$66.4 trade deficit reflects drop in exports

Samoa's trade deficit for August 2020 stands at $66.4 million, with imports of $73.9 million exceeding exports worth $7.5 million.

The figure was revealed in the “Overseas Merchandise Trade” report issued by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics this week, highlighting a steep decline in exports not just for Samoa but other Pacific countries.

According to the report, the total value of merchandise exports decreased by 34.3 per cent to $7.5 million. The monthly decrease was due to reduction of ‘fish, crustaceans and molluscs’ down by $2.7 million, ‘vegetables down to $0.2 million, ‘Electrical machinery and equipment down by $0.03 million.

Furthermore, the Oceania region reported the largest fall in exports which were down by $2.3 million as reflected by the significant decrease in exports to American Samoa down by $2.3 million and New Zealand down by $0.6 million.

In addition, Asia recorded a significant decrease of $1.5 million with Japan the main driver of the current reduction down $0.8 million reflecting the absence of fish shipment during the month.

Despite the decrease in the value of exports during the month, American Samoa remained the top export market with a total share of 38.0 per cent.

The total value of merchandise imports increased 7.2 per cent to $73.9 million.

This increase was mainly due to imports by main commodity: ‘Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products increased by $9.6 million, ‘Vehicles, parts and accessories went up by $1.3 million, ‘Mechanical machinery and equipment up $0.58 million and ‘Meat and edible meat offal was up by $0.56 million.

The imports from Europe region increased to $0.7 million with Germany the main driver of the current increase of $0.8 million reflecting the importation of stainless-steel products during the month. 

According to the Bureau, the main source of imports and exports data comes from the administrative document; a completed customs form (Single Administrative data-SAD) which is required to be filled in by importers and exporters or customs agents when clearing merchandise inward and outward through the Ministry for Revenue (Custom Department).

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