August trade deficit hits $72 million

By Adel Fruean 25 October 2021, 9:38PM

Samoa’s exports in August 2021 recorded a 17.3 per cent increase or $0.75 million compared with July 2021. Yet, the country recorded a trade deficit of $72.38 million in August.

Yet, the country recorded a trade deficit of $72.38 million in August 2021, with imports of $77.47 million exceeding exports worth $5.09 million. 

The figure was revealed in a recent report titled: “Overseas Merchandise Trade” for the month of August issued by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics.

According to the report, the total value of merchandise imports increased by 22.6 per cent or $14.26 million to $77.47 million in August 2021. 

Furthermore, the report highlighted that the increase in imports for August was mainly led by: mineral fuels, mineral oils and products (up by $18.98 million); meat and edible meat offal products (up $2.46 million); iron and Steel products (up $1.38 million); wood and articles of wood (up $0.81 million). 

The Asia region had the largest increase (up by $9.87 million) to record $30.33 million, reflecting the increase in petroleum imports from Singapore (up by $18.92 million) for the month under review.  

However, the total value of merchandise exports increased 17.3 per cent (or $0.75 million) to $5.09 million in August 2021.

The increase was mainly driven by: electrical machinery and equipment (up by $0.39 million); vegetables (up by $0.22 million); fats and oils (up $0.27 million); and beverages, spirits and vinegar (up by $0.02 million).

“As usual, Oceania had the largest share of total merchandise exports valued at $4.10 million (up $1.09 million) from the previous month,” read the report.

It also added that exports to Australia (up by $0.60 million), American Samoa (up by $0.32 million).

“Tokelau recorded the largest increases in August 2021 as a result of the increase in exports of taro, coconuts, beer and virgin coconut oil to mention a few.”

Samoa recently launched a new variety of taro called "talo vave" last Friday with hopes to export overseas. 

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 Customs and Revenue (Custom Department).  

By Adel Fruean 25 October 2021, 9:38PM
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