Trade deficit expands by 16.6pc $1.3b
3 September, 2018, 7:03 am
FIJI’s merchandise trade deficit in the year to May now stands at about $1.3 billion after expanding by 16.6 per cent, the central bank states in its recent economic review.
The rise in deficit (excluding aircraft), $1,395.4 million to be exact, is however lower when compared with a 24.4 per cent widening in the same period in 2017.
According to the Reserve Bank of Fiji’s Economic Review for the month ended August 2018, Fiji’s total exports (excluding aircraft) increased by 3.9 per cent.
This time around last year, exports had declined by 1.5 per cent.
The central bank stated that the up in the country’s total exports was mainly contributed by the increase in re-exports and domestic exports of woodchips, gold, chemicals, animal & vegetables oils & fats and miscellaneous manufactured articles.
This also more than-offset the decline in exports of sugar, mineral water, cement, and machinery & transport equipment over the period.
Fiji’s total imports (excluding aircraft) over the same period rose by 11.7 per cent led by higher imports of machinery & transport equipment, chemicals, mineral fuels, crude materials, manufactured goods, beverages & tobacco, animal and vegetable oils & fats and other commodities which more-than-offset the decline in imports of miscellaneous manufactured articles and food & live animals.
In the external sector, while all our major trading partners are expected to note positive growth, the central bank stated that the downside risks have become more pronounced due to escalating trade and geopolitical tensions.