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International Merchandise Trade Statistics Ending 2nd Quarter 2017

International trade is defined as the exchange of goods, services and capital between trading part­ner countries and regions. Informa­tion on imports and exports are in­puts to calculating this data and
28 Oct 2017 11:00
International Merchandise Trade Statistics Ending 2nd Quarter 2017
Shoran Devi

International trade is defined as the exchange of goods, services and capital between trading part­ner countries and regions. Informa­tion on imports and exports are in­puts to calculating this data and are used particularly in the calculation of Balance of Payments and Gross Domestic Product for the country.

Imports are foreign goods and ser­vices bought by a country whereas Exports are the goods and services produced in one country and sold to another country.

When a country’s import exceeds it exports, the country is said to have a trade deficit, while a trade surplus occurs when the value of a country’s exports exceeds that of its imports.

International trade is often cited as being at the forefront of the pro­cess of economic globalisation. It al­lows for domestic competitiveness, enabling domestic traders to extend sales potential of the existing prod­ucts in the international markets, reduce dependence on existing mar­kets and hence increase sales and profits.

International trade also encour­ages the establishment of newer in­dustries to cater for global demand and creates employment in the pro­cess.

In the latest release by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics, provisional data put the total value of goods im­ported in June 2017 at $376.6 million while the value of total exports at $177.1 million.

Compared to June 2016, total im­ports and total exports decreased by $44.3 million (10.5 per cent) and $3.0 million (1.7 per cent) respectively.

The June 2017 trade deficit amount­ed to $199.5 million compared to $248.3 million a month earlier (May).

Imports

Compared to June 2016, the im­port categories recording notable increases were:

n Wood pulp, paper and paper­board & articles thereof – up $13.3 million (123.5 per cent) to $24.0 mil­lion due to increased imports of bank and currency notes; and

n Live animals: animal products – up $5.3 million (17.9 per cent) to $34.8 million due to increased imports of fresh fish.

Compared to June 2016, the im­port categories recording notable decreases were:

n Vehicles, aircraft and associ­ated transport equipment – down $23.4 million (44.1 per cent) to $29.6 million due to decreased imports of vehicles;

n Machinery and mechanical and electrical appliances and parts thereof – down $14.7 million (18.6 per cent) to $64.1 million due to de­creased imports of telephones for cellular networks or for other wire­less networks;

n Base metals and articles thereof – down $8.7 million (29.4 per cent) to $21.0 million due to decreased im­ports of articles of iron and steel;

n Mineral products – down 6.7 mil­lion (9.4 per cent) to $64.4 million due to decreased imports of gas oil (diesel);

n Textiles and textile articles – down $5.5 million (22.2 per cent) to $19.2 million due to decreased im­ports of articles of textiles; and

n Prepared foodstuffs, beverages spirits & tobacco – down $5.4 million (23.1 per cent) to $17.9 million due to decreased imports of alcohol.

For the month of June 2017, Fiji’s major sources of imports were:

n Australia – up $5.5 million (8.2 per cent) to $73.0 million due to in­creased imports of wheat and mes­lin;

n New Zealand – down $7.6 million (9.9 per cent) to $68.9 million due to decreased imports of telephones for cellular networks or for other wire­less networks;

n China – People’s Republic – up $4.6 million (7.3 per cent) to $68.4 million due to increased imports of fresh fish;

n Singapore – down $11.9 million (16.9 per cent) to $58.6 million due to decreased imports of gas oil (die­sel); and

n Korea, Republic of – up $3.9 mil­lion (23.0 per cent) to $21.1 million due to increased imports of gas oil (diesel).

Domestic Exports

Compared to June 2016, the domes­tic exports category recording a no­table increase was:

n Pearls, precious, semi-precious stones & metals – up $5.2 million (53.1 per cent) to $14.9 million due to increased exports of gold.

Compared to June 2016, there were no notable decreases for domestic export categories.

For the month of June 2017, Fiji’s major domestic export destina­tions were:

n United States of America – up $2.1 million (7.5 per cent) to $30.4 million due to increased exports of mineral water;

n Australia – up $2.0 million (9.1 per cent to $24.2 million due to in­creased exports of gold;

n Vanuatu – down $1.9 million (27.7 per cent to $5.1 million due to decreased exports of flour;

n New Zealand – down $0.2 million (4.0 per cent) to $4.7 million due to decreased exports of taro (dalo); and

n Samoa – down $0.5 million (15.8 per cent) to $2.7 million due to de­creased exports of flour.

Re-Exports

Re-exports are foreign goods that are exported with no substantial transformation from the state in which they were previously import­ed.

Compared to June 2016, the re-export categories recording notable increases were:

n Pearls, precious, semi-precious stones & metals – up $8.7 million (2,714.7 per cent) to $9.0 million due to increased re-exports of other laid with or incorporating pearls, pre­cious or semi-precious stones; and

n Live animal: animal products – up $6.0 million (42.6 per cent) to $20.0 million due to increased re-exports of yellow fin tuna.

Compared to June 2016, the re-ex­port category recording a notable decrease was:

n Mineral products – down $7.8 million (20.8 per cent) to $29.6 mil­lion due to decreased re-exports of aviation or turbine fuel.

For the month of June 2017, Fi­ji’s major re-export destinations were:

n Australia – up $12.2 million (486.1 per cent) to $14.7 million due to increased re-exports of inlaid with or incorporating pearls, pre­cious or semi-precious stones;

n Tonga – up $4.4 million (120.7 per cent) to $8.0 million due to increased re-exports of gas oil (diesel);

n China – People’s Republic – up $1.4 million (29.1 per cent) to $6.2 million due to increased re-exports of yellow fin tuna;

n Japan – up $3.8 million (210.4 per cent) to $5.7 million due to increased re-exports of fresh fish; and

n New Zealand – down $1.4 million (22.3 per cent ) to $4.9 million due to decreased re-exports of iron and steel.

Fiji has gained a lot from interna­tional trade including accessing a wider range of goods and services and allowing local producers to tap into global markets.

Other benefits include the expan­sion of local industries with result­ing increase in employment and economic activity, and encouraging innovation.

Fiji’s growing trade flows have an important impact on the foreign re­serve levels.

If foreign reserve levels decline, that means we are paying more to the rest of the world than inflow and vice versa. In this regard, it is inter­esting to note that Fiji’s foreign re­serves are currently at record level of approximately $2.41 billion.

Our growing trade flows also have an effect on the general inflation and more broadly consumption, invest­ment and growth in the economy.



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