Vt600 million increase in trade deficit for Sept 2016

Merchandise trade provisional figures for September 2016 recorded a deficit balance of Vt2.285 billion, a slight deterioration of Vt593 million or (21%) compared to September 2015.

This trade deficit balance was due to the value of total imports (Vt2.587) billion, exceeded that of total exports at Vt302 million, the Vanuatu National Statistics Office states in its Highlights.

Domestic export earnings (excluding re-exports) for September 2016 stood at Vt302 million, a significant increase of 57% or Vt109 million compared to September 2015, the report says.

Exports — In September 2016, for the main export commodities, copra constituted the largest share in value at Vt130 million or 43%, followed by kava at 22%, coconut oil at 15%, beef at 5%, sawn timber at 3%, live fish at 1%, cocoa, coconut meal and alcoholic drinks recorded less than 1% each respectively, while other products at 11% over September 2015. Other products comprised mainly of other plywood species (Pterocarpus indicus), cooked meat and personal effects.

“In September 2016, coconut product exports in value indicated declines for coconut meal and coconut oil at 97% and 17%, compared to the same period of last year. Copra recorded a shipment of Vt130 million over September, 2015.”

Kava exports in value stood at Vt66 million in September 2016, representing a significant increase of Vt48 million compared to Vt18 million in September 2015. Beef exports went down by 47% or Vt14 million from Vt29 million in September 2015 to Vt15 million in September 2016. Most of the beef was mainly exported to Japan, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.

Imports — In terms of share of commodity groups to total imports receipts, Machines and transport equipment represented the largest value ( C.I.F) of Vt665 million or (26%) of the total imports for home consumption in September 2016, followed by food and live animals at Vt545 million or (21%), basic manufactured goods at (20%), chemical products at (8%), mineral fuels at (6%), beverages and tobacco and crude materials at (3%) each, while the rest of the group recorded 1% each over September 2015, the VNSO’s September 2016 Highlight says.

“Compared to September 2015, the commodity groups which increased: crude materials at VT 18 million or 31%, followed by oils and fats at 19%, food and live animals at 10%, goods not classified elsewhere at Vt28 million in September 2016.”

“However, the rest of the commodity group that decreased were: Mineral fuels at (40%), followed by beverages and tobacco at (30%), basic manufactured goods at (28%), machines and transport at (25%), miscellaneous goods at (17%) and chemical products at (2%) respectively.

The distribution of imported goods by country grouping recorded an increase in September 2016 for Fiji at (70%) or Vt120 million.

However, the rest of country grouping where imports for home consumption decreased were as follows: Hong Kong at (47%), France at (41%), New Zealand at (38%), Singapore at (37%), New Caledonia at (14%), Australia and Other Countries at (13%) each, and Japan at (2%) respectively compared to September 2015.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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