May 22, 2013

Imports increase

Ropate Valemei
Monday, May 20, 2013

TRADE deficit for February this year amounted to $144.7million compared to $225.6m in January.

This is the amount by which the cost of Fiji's imports exceeded the value of its exports.

According to the International Merchandise Trade statistics, government statistician Epeli Waqavonovono said provisional data put the value of goods imported in February at $300.1m while total exports were $155.4m.

"Compared to the previous corresponding month, imports and total exports decreased by $8.4m (2.7 per cent) and $17.9m (10.4 per cent) respectively," Mr Waqavonovono said.

He said the percentage breakdown of major import types were 29.3 per cent mineral products, 11.3 per cent for machinery, mechanical and electrical appliances, 9.2 per cent for vegetable products, 7.8 per cent for vehicles, aircraft, vessels and associated transport equipment, 7.8 per cent for animal products, 5.3 per cent for textile and textile articles and 5.1 per cent for chemical and allied products.

Compared to February last year, Mr Waqavonovono said mineral products were down by $23.6m (21.2 per cent) to $88m because of decreased imports of gas oil (diesel) and chemicals, which were also down by $8.4m (35.6 per cent) to $15.2m because of decreased import of fertiliser.

"Notable increases were for vehicles and associated transport equipment and vegetable products.

"Fiji's major sources of imports were Singapore for gas, Australia for liquefied butanes, New Zealand for portable data processing machines, China for fresh fish, textiles and textile articles, and Malaysia for bitumen or shale and tar sands.

"The domestic export category recorded a notable decrease for pearls, precious and semi-precious stone, and metals, which were down $7m (5.4 per cent) to $5.9m because of a decrease in the export of gold."

Mr Waqavonovono said wood cork and article, and plaiting materials, had increased by $5.5m (161.1 per cent) to $8.9m because of an increase in the export of woodchips.

He said re-exports totalled to $85.6m compared to $98.9m in January this year while petroleum products sold to visiting ships, aircraft and neighbouring islands earned $52.7m.

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