Import prices increase in September quarter

The price of importing goods into Samoa for the September quarter this year has grown by 3.2 per cent, new data from the statistics bureau shows. 

The increase in prices as measured by the import index is compared to the previous, June quarter. On a year-on-year basis the import price index fell sharply, by 9.2 per cent when compared to the September quarter for 2019. 

The quarterly increase was driven mainly by an increase in the costs of food and beverages, which rose by 5 per cent. Similarly, animal products rose by 4.9 per cent (following a 6.5 per cent the quarter prior), while vegetable products increased by 3.5 per cent. 

The findings were revealed in a recent report issued by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics which measures changes in the cost, insurance, and freight of importing merchandise into Samoa.

The import price index is a measure of the changes in the price of importing merchandise into the country.

Of the quarterly increase in food import prices, dairy products led the way and increased by 6.2 per cent while the price of butter alone rose by nearly 16 per cent. Cheese rose by 6.1 per cent and milk by 3.8 per cent. 

The prices of meat products also increased by 4.4 per cent, reflecting higher prices of sheep meat, which were up 6.4 per cent and poultry meat which rose 4 per cent. 

When compared on a year-on-year basis to the September 2019 quarter, the current live animals and animal product index edged up 0.8 per cent. 

Rising vegetable prices were mainly due to the higher import prices of rice (which rose 8.6 per cent) and wheat products (which rose 3.7 per cent). 

When compared to the same quarter last year, the current vegetable products index increased 1.7 per cent. 

Prices for animals or vegetable fats and oils rose by 0.1 per cent in the September quarter this year, following a 0.6 per cent fall in the previous quarter. This increase reflected higher prices of sunflower oil up 3.2 per cent despite margarine prices dropping 4.7 per cent and vegetable oil falling 1.9 per cent. 

When compared with the same quarter last year, the animal or vegetable fats and oil index fell 4.4 per cent.

Canned meats rose by 9.7 per cent compared to the quarter before; sugar was up by 3.9 per cent; and cereal increased 2.3 per cent.

In comparison with the corresponding quarter of 2019, the current food and beverage index was 14 per cent higher.

The import prices for mineral products rose 0.4 per cent in the September 2020 quarter, following a 39.3 per cent fall in the quarter before. 

The current increase was influenced by higher prices of petroleum gases (up 3.4 per cent). When compared to the September quarter last year, the mineral products index declined 30.6 per cent.

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