Fish export decreased in February
Samoa’s fish export was very minimal in February 2021 due to the rescheduling of shipments to March 2021.
This was highlighted in a report issued by the Central Bank of Samoa.
The report is titled: “Foreign Trade and International Commodity prices report,” for February 2021 was released this month.
Fresh fish has been Samoa’s largest export in previous years, such as the year 2019.
According to the report it states that, Samoa’s export earnings recorded a significant rebound of 40.1 per cent or $1.7 million to $5.9 million for the [February] month.
The contributing factors to this increase were from expansions of 79.7 per cent and 28.7 per cent in both re-exports and domestically produced exports mainly coconut oil, taro and beer.
However, total export receipts declined by 19.7 per cent or $1.4 million when compared to the same month last year, which was well below its average gains of 11.2 per cent and 8.0 per cent in the past three and five years respectively.
The report also revealed that in the first eight months of 2020/2021, total export earnings was also down by 31.1 per cent to $61.5 million over the same period last year due to reductions in earnings from fresh fish (down by $16.9 million), nonu juice (down by $1.11 million) and scrap metal (down by $0.58 million) to mention a few.
Whereas, the Pacific region remained as the main destination for Samoa’s exports with a total share of 69.7 per cent, but it fell from 73.0 per cent in the previous month. This decline was due to lower exports to American Samoa (mainly fish). This was followed by North America and Asia with shares of 21.9 per cent and 8.3 per cent in that order.
Furthermore, the total import payments dropped by 13.6 per cent or $8.9 million to $56.7 million reflecting the absence of petroleum imports as well as an $8.9 million drop in non-petroleum private sector imports despite an increase of $11.3 million in government imports including the importation of the new ferry boat.
Moreover, total imports fell by 17.5 per cent (or $12.0 million) when compared to the same month of 2020 and much lower than its average gains of 7.7 per cent in the past 3 years and 6.5 per cent in the past five years respectively.
The Central Bank also noted that for the first eight months of 2020/2021, total import payments were 14.5 per cent lower over the year due to decreases of 49.9 per cent, 15.1 per cent and 6.0 per cent in petroleum imports, government imports and non-petroleum private sector imports in that order.
The Pacific region was the main source of market for imports with a total share of 66.2 per cent. The Asian region followed with a share of 13.4 per cent while Europe, North America and Others recorded shares of 12.5 per cent, 7.8 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.
C.B.S. also relayed that as a result of the larger drop in import payments, the ‘goods’ trade deficit contracted by 17.2 per cent to $50.8 million from the previous month and was also 17.3 per cent lower than its level in the same month last year. The total trade deficit in the first eight months of 2020/2021 was 11.7 per cent lower than the same period in 2019/2020.