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RBF: Exports decline by 3.7pc

Filipe Naigulevu
Monday, December 04, 2017

THE country's exports fell by 3.7 per cent cumulative to October 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) noted in its latest review.

The exports decline, which was based on the Overseas Exchange Large Transactions report, was highlighted in the RBF Economic Review for the month ended November.

The central bank noted that the decline was mainly led by lower receipts for sugar, gold and timber which more-than-offset the increase in the exports of mineral water and fish.

Imports on the other hand rose marginally over same period attributed to increases in food and fuel payments.

According to the most recent provisional data by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBoS), the total value of goods imported stood at $409.3 million while the value of total exports was $200.6 million.

The July 2017 trade deficit amounted to $208.8 million compared to $199.5 million a month earlier (June).

The central bank had also forecasted earlier that the country's trade deficit for the year was expected to further widen as imports (excluding aircraft) growth was revised upward to 11.4 per cent while exports were expected to grow at a slower pace of 4.1 per cent. But moving forward, the central bank has reiterated that reining in the trade deficit, raising tourism earnings and remittances as well attracting foreign direct investment are key to safeguarding external stability.

Foreign reserves also fell over November to $2,311.4 million, sufficient to cover 5.5 months of retained imports of goods and non-factor services (MORI).

As at December 1, foreign reserves were $2,310.1 million, sufficient to cover 5.5 MORI and are forecast to remain at comfortable levels by year-end.

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