Trade deficit of Vt2.8 billion recorded in October 2015

Merchandise trade provisional figures for October 2015 recorded a deficit balance of Vt2.834 billion.

This was due to the value of total imports (Vt3.334 billion) exceeding total exports of Vt500 million, it indicated a deterioration of 45% or Vt884 million over October 2014, according to the latest Statistics Update on Merchandise Trade Statistics from the Vanuatu National Statistics Office (VNSO).

The update shows that domestic export earnings (excluding re-exports) for October 2015 stood at Vt500 million, indicating a decrease of 31% or Vt225 million over October 2014. This decrease was attributable to declines in coconut oil, copra and cocoa exports.

“In October 2015, for the main export commodities; Kava constituted the largest share in value at Vt198 million or 40% , followed by beef at Vt129 million or 26%, cocoa 10%, coconut oil 9%, sawn timber 8%, life fish 2%, cowhides and coconut meal at 1%each, and other products at 3%. However the rest of the group recorded less than 1% altogether compared to October 2014. Other products comprised mainly of sea cucumber, scrap metals and tamanu oils,” the VNSO’s Statistics Update says.

Coconut products exports in October 2015 dropped by 75% for coconut meal and 53% of coconut oil exports over October 2014. This huge downfall was due to no shipments recorded for copra exports over the same period in 2014, the VNSO Report continues.

“Kava export earnings increased significantly to Vt198 million in October 2015, recording an excess of Vt140 million over Vt58 million in October 2014. In addition, beef exports increased significantly to Vt129 million in October 2015 over Vt34 million in October 2014, thus recording an excess of Vt95 million. Most of the beef was mainly exported to Japan, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.”

The Statistics Update says that in terms of imports by commodity groups, machines and transport registered the largest share in value (C.I.F) at 26% or Vt875 million of the total imports for home consumption followed by basic manufactured products at 19% or Vt616 million, food and live animals at 18%, mineral fuels at 12%, miscellaneous goods at 10%, chemical products at 8%, crude materials 3%, beverages and tobacco at 2% while oils and fats and goods not classified elsewhere made up less than 1% of the total imports in October 2015 over October 2014.

“The commodity groups which increased the most in October 2015 were crude materials at 136%, followed by basic manufactured products at 113%, oils and fats at 75%, machines and transport at 56%, chemical products at 53%, food and live animals at 22% and miscellaneous goods at 20% altogether over October 2014. However, the rest of the commodity groups that decreased; goods not classified elsewhere as 92%, mineral fuels at 41% and beverages and tobacco at 9% over the same period of the previous year.”

The distribution of imported goods by country grouping was stable over October 2014. Australia, Singapore and New Zealand were the main countries of origin of imports for home consumption in October 2015.


Vanuatu Daily Post