Export income drops 28 per cent

Export earnings for Samoa in the first six months of the 2020-21 fiscal year dropped more than 28 per cent, a new report has found.

In total the earnings for the six-month period under review fell by a total of $51.4 million, compared to the previous Financial Year.

The 28.1 per cent decline is revealed in a Central Bank of Samoa report issued this month: "Foreign Trade and International Commodity Prices report for December 2020."

But last month alone, total export receipts rose by 33 per cent or $2 million to reach $8 million on a monthly basis, mainly due to a 0.5 per cent or $2.1 million gain in domestically produced exports. 

This reflected increases in export commodities such as fish, crude coconut oil, cigarettes and coconut cream. Re-exports fell by 0.1 per cent (or $0.16 million) from the previous month. 

On a year-on-year basis total exports for last December were 18.4 per cent (or $1.8 million) lower, the bank figures showed.

That decline was well below the export sector's average gains of 13.8 per cent over the past 3 years and 10.3 per cent in the past 5 years.

“As a result, total export earnings in the first six months of 2020/21 amounted to $51.4 million, which were 28.1 per cent lower compared to the same period last year,” read the report.

Reclassifications of commodities also influenced the continuity of the export data.

Monthly import payments for December rebounded by 33.6 per cent (or $19.6 million) to $77.8 million, reflecting increases in all of its main categories.

Increases were recorded for petroleum imports (up by $10.2 million), government imports (up by $5.9 million) and nonpetroleum private sector imports (up by $3.5 million).

But on a yearly basis total import payments in December last December were hdown by 15.4 per cent (or $14.3 million). That figure was lower than average gains of 8.8 per cent in the past three years and 5.1 per cent in the past five years respectively. 

As a result, total import payments in the first six months of 2020/21 were 18.6 per cent (to $409.8 million) lower than the same period of 2019/20.

The Pacific region remained as the major source region of imports with a total share of 44.4 per cent whilst Asia, North America, Europe and Other countries recorded shares of 38.0 per cent, 10.0 per cent, 7.6 per cent and 0.1 per cent in that order. 

As a result of the sharp hike in imports, the trade deficit expanded by 33.7 per cent to $69.7 million in December on a monthly basis. It was 15 per cent lower than that of the same month in 2019.

The total trade deficit in the first six months of 2020/21 fell by 17.0 per cent compared to the same period in 2019/20.

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