March merchandise imports records trade deficit of $130.9 million


In March 2023, the total value of merchandise imports amounted to $141.5 million exceeding the total value of exports of $10.6 million, resulting in a trade deficit of $130.9 million.

This is outlined in the Samoa Bureau of Statistics’ latest merchandise export report increased 46.8 per cent (or $3.4 million) to $10.6 million in March 2023.

This was due to the increases of, Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products (up $1.2 million); Animal or vegetable fats and oils products (up $1.3 million); Vegetables and certain roots and tubers products (up $0.5 million); Miscellaneous edible preparations products (up $0.3 million). 

Oceania region had the largest share of 56.2 per cent of total merchandise exports in the period under review, increasing 19.8 per cent from the previous month. 

Exports to the USA (up $1.5 million), Tokelau (up $0.8 million) and New Zealand (up $0.2 million) recorded the largest increases in March 2023 reflecting higher exports of coconut oil, taro and re-exports of fuel to mention a few. 

The total value of merchandise imports in March 2023 was $141.5 million, increasing 89.6 per cent (or $66.9 million) from February 2023.

This was mainly driven by higher imports of Ships, boats and floating structures products (up $35.8 million) Mineral fuels, mineral oil and products (up $24.1 million) Meat and edible meat offal and products (up $3.7 million); Dairy products (up $2.7 million). 

The Asia region became the leading source market for imports accounting for 54.8 per cent of the total merchandise import value and also recorded the highest increase of $50.3 million from the preceding month. 

Imports from Japan (up $36.2 million), Singapore (up $23.9 million) and New Zealand (up $14.7 million) had the largest increases in the reviewed month as a result of higher imports of petroleum, food products such as chicken leg quarter, milk as well as the importation of the MV Lady Samoa IV to name a few.