Trade deficit widens to $81.9 million

Samoa's trade deficit for October 2020 increased by $23.7 million compared the previous month.

It stands at $81.9 million, with imports of $90.4 million exceeding exports worth $8.6 million. The figure is revealed in the “Overseas Merchandise Trade” report issued by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics this week.

According to the report, the total value of exports rose by 22.4 per cent or $1.6 million to $8.6 million in October 2020.

The monthly expansion by main commodities reflected the increases of: fish, crustaceans and molluscs’ up by $1.1 million; beverages, spirits and vinegar up $0.7 million; tobacco up $0.05 million; and fruit and nuts increased by $0.04 million.

Samoa’s exports to American Samoa increased by $1.6 million and Australia up $0.4 million documented the largest increases in the reviewed month, due to gains in fish, beer, cocoa beans and taro exports to name a few.

However, American Samoa remained as the top destination for exports in October 2020, with a total share of 48.2 per cent of total merchandise exports value.

The total value of imports increased by 34.6 per cent or $23.2 million to $90.4 million in October 2020.

The increase was mainly driven by main commodities such as: mineral fuels, mineral oils and products up $12.10 million; pharmaceutical products up $12.06 million; meat and edible meat offal up $0.75 million; and wood and articles of wood up $2.14 million.

Oceania documented the largest share of total imports value $47.93 million.

While Asia had the largest increase from the previous month up by $13.86 million, with Singapore the main driver of the current increase up by $11.24 million, as a result of the resumption of petroleum imports in the reviewed 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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