September trade deficit falls to $58 million

Samoa's trade deficit for September 2020 was $58.2 million, a drop from $66 million the month prior. 

The figure was revealed in a report issued by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics.

According to the report called, “Overseas Merchandise Trade,” the total value of merchandise exports decreased by 6.9 per cent to $7.0 million on a monthly basis. 

The decrease was driven mainly by the reduction of commodities such as soaps and polishes, which were down by $0.02 million; electrical machinery and equipment which was down by $0.40 million; tobacco products which fell by $0.06 million; and fruit and nuts which dropped $0.24 million.

Exports to Australia and New Zealand decreased by $0.3 million and $0.28 million respectively; their largest decreases since September 2020.

There was a total of nil exports to Fiji due to the limitations of shipment in the reviewed month.

However, American Samoa continued as the leading export market in September, accounting for 36.9 per cent of the value of total merchandise exports’ value.

The total value of merchandise imports decreased by 11.9 per cent to $65.2 million.

The cause of this decrease was mainly led by meat and edible meat offal which was down by $0.18 million; mechanical machinery and equipment (down $0.52 million); electrical machinery and equipment (down $1.3 million); and wood and articles of wood (down $1.0 million).

While Asia recorded the largest decrease in imports which fell by $12.4 million with Singapore was the main driver of the current fall. The value of exports from that country went down $14.7 million reflecting no importation of petroleum during the month.

The main source of imports and exports data comes from an administrative document; a completed customs form 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, the Bureau said. 

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