SOLOMON Islands national statistics office (SINSO) yesterday announced a $57.5million surplus in trades recorded for March this year.
This figure is on the country’s international merchandise trade statistics (IMTS), which puts together all of Solomon Islands’ exports and imports.
IMTS shows the movement of different types of goods between the Solomon Islands and a range of countries regionally and around the world.
Releasing the statistical bulletin, government statistician Douglas Kimi said the surplus is an increase of $109.4m (211 percent) over the deficit of $51.9m recorded in the preceding quarter.
Compared to March 2016’s record, this year’s record is an increase of $21.1million (58 percent) over last year’s $36.4m.
“The movement of goods into and out of the Solomon Islands is an important aspect of our nation’s economic development,” Kimi said.
On Major Exports in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the corresponding quarter of 2016, Kimi said that round log and sawn timber exports declined by $7.4m (1 percent) to $604.7m while total of fresh/frozen and canned fish rose by $33.8m (62 percent) to $88.7m.
“This increase is mainly attributed to $52.1m of fish loin exports to Italy which accounted for 59 percent of total fish exports.”
He added that the total for copra, cocoa, palm oil and other agricultural products has increased by $40.8m (56 percent) to $113.9m affirming this is mainly driven by a surge in palm oil and copra exports during the quarter and gold increased by $3m (63 percent) to $7.8m.
Meanwhile, on Major Imports Kimi said food imports, which is comprise mostly of rice and canned meat, increased by $0.7m (0.6 percent) to $111.9m.
“Mineral fuel and lubricant imports rose by $58.2m (55 percent) to $164.9m. Machinery and transport equipment increased by $33.6m (15 percent) to $260.3m,” he said.
Merchandise trade balance with major trading partners in the March quarter of 2017 compared to the previous corresponding quarter records the following:
- The trade deficit with Singapore, the main source of fuel imports, increased by $63m (57 percent) to $174.5m.
- The trade deficit with Australia decreased by $16.8m (11 percent) to $132.2m.
- The trade deficit with Papua New Guinea was down by $14.3m (58 percent) to $10.4m.
- The trade surplus with South Korea declined by $9.7m (86 percent) to $1.5m.
- The trade surplus with China, the main destination of exported logs, rose by $63.1m (15 percent) to $491.6m.
- The trade surplus with Italy, the main destination of fish-loin exports, increased by $13.2m (35 percent) to $51m.
Data are compiled from the Solomon Islands Customs and Excise Division, the Central Bank of the Solomon Islands, Commodity Export Market Authority and additional records provided by major importers/exporters.