Fiji Time: 3:29 PM on Wednesday 24 January

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$281.7m deficit

Filipe Naigulevu
Monday, June 19, 2017

FIJI'S trade deficit as of January this year amounted to $281.7million, an increase when compared with $247.7m recorded in December, 2016.

This was highlighted in the recent International Merchandise Trade Statistics for month of January 2017 released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics.

According to the provisional data, the total value of goods imported in January stood at $418.7m while the value of total exports was $137m.

Compared with January of last year, Fiji's total imports increased by $107.6m (34.6 per cent) whereas total exports decreased by $4.8m (3.4 per cent).

Machinery, mechanical, electrical appliances and parts thereof mainly contributed to Fiji's imports which recorded $78.6m (18.8 per cent) followed by mineral products at $78.4m (18.7 per cent) and vehicles, aircraft and associated transport equipment at $43.9m (10.5 per cent).

Compared with January last year, Fiji's import of mineral products recorded a notable increase of $32.5m (70.9 per cent) because of increased imports of gas oil (diesel).

The data also revealed that Fiji's major sources of imports were Singapore, China, New Zealand, Australia and Korea.

Fiji's imports from Singapore in January increased by $40.3m (97.8 per cent) because of increased imports of gas oil (diesel) when compared with January of last year.

Imports from China, which was up by $19.4m (35.9 per cent) because of increased imports of fresh fish and New Zealand, which increased by $9.6m (17.9 per cent) due to increased imports of lamb.

Meanwhile, Fiji's domestic exports majorly consisted of prepared foodstuffs, live animals, vegetable products, textiles and precious stones.

Compared with January 2016, Fiji's export of prepared foodstuffs, beverages, spirits and tobacco increased by $11.5m (64.1 per cent) in January because of increased exports of mineral water.

Fiji's major domestic export destinations in January were United States of America, Australia, New Zealand,Vanuatu and Samoa.

According to the data provided, Fiji's exports to the US went up by $9.3m (55.5 per cent) because of increased exports of mineral water while exports to Vanuatu went up by $0.9m (40.1 per cent) to $3.0m because of increased exports of flour.

Exports to Australia however dropped by $6.6m (32.3 per cent) to $13.8m because of decreased exports of gold when compared with January of last year.

Exports to New Zealand which also went down by $3.9m (50.1 per cent) to $3.9m because of decreased exports of dalo (taro); and Samoa which went down by $0.7 million (20.7 per cent) to $2.5 million because of decreased exports of biscuits.

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