International Merchandise Trade Index

FBoS Release No: 49, 2017

04th September 2017


The Terms of Trade [TOT] is a ratio of two price indexes: one for exports and the other for imports. A rise in the index means that Fiji can buy more imports from the same amount of exports.

Key facts

The following movements occurred in the March quarter of 2017 when compared with the December quarter of 2016:

  • The international merchandise terms of trade price index fell by 0.5 percent;
  • Export prices for goods fell by 0.5 percent; and
  • Import prices for goods rose by 0.1 percent.

Table 1: Summary

imtiMar17a

Commentary

The seasonally unadjusted international merchandise TOT index for the March quarter of 2017 stood at 102.4. This is a decrease of 0.1 percent over the March quarter of 2016.
The export price index increased by 0.5 percent and the import price index rose by 0.6 percent.

Export Price Index

imtiMar17b

There were significant price changes in the following export and import items when comparisons were made to the December quarter of 2016 and March of 2016 periods:

Changes over the December quarter of 2016

The overall Export Price Index [XPI] for the March quarter of 2017 stands at 104.4, a decrease of 0.5 percent when compared to the December quarter of 2016 [104.9]. Contributing to this decrease were lower prices recorded for the following categories and specific items;

  • Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal and articles thereof; imitation jewellery decreased by 5.8 percent due to low export prices of gold; and
  • Animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; animal or vegetable waxes decreased by 0.2 percent due to low export prices of copra and soya bean oil and
  • Base metals and articles of base metal decreased by 0.1 per cent due to low export prices of iron and steel and lead and articles thereof.

Changes over the March quarter of 2016

Compared to the March quarter of 2016 [103.9], the XPI for the March quarter of 2017 increased by 0.5 percent. Contributing to this increase were higher prices recorded for the following categories and specific items:

  • Pulp of wood or of other fibrous cellulosic material; waste and scrap of paper or paperboard; paper and paperboard and articles thereof increased by 5.3 percent due to high export prices of cartons;
  • Live animals; animal products increased by 3.8 percent due to high export prices of fish, milk and eggs and coral;
  • Vegetable products increased by 3.5 percent due to high export prices of cassava, dalo, ginger, flour, rice and kava; and
  • Prepared foodstuffs; beverages, spirits and vinegar; tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes increased by 3.5 percent due to high export prices of sugar and sugar confectionery.

Import Price Index

imtiMar17c

Changes over the December quarter of 2016

The overall Import Price Index [MPI] for the March quarter of 2017 stands at 102.0, an increase of 0.1 percent when compared to the December quarter of 2016 [101.9]. Contributing to this increase were higher prices recorded for the following categories and specific items:

  • Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal; cork and articles of cork; manufacturers of straw, of esparto or of other plaiting materials; basketware and wickerwork increased by 2.1 percent due to high import prices of hardboard and fire resistant board;
  • Animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; animal or vegetable waxes increased by 1.7 percent due to high import prices of soya bean oil, palm oil, canola oil and margarine; and
  • Pulp of wood or of other fibrous cellulosic material; waste and scrap of paper or paperboard; paper and paperboard and articles thereof increased by 1.5 percent due to high import prices of paperboard and paperboard articles.

Changes over the March quarter of 2016

Compared to the March quarter of 2016 [101.4], the MPI for the March quarter of 2017 increased by 0.6 percent. Contributing to this increased were higher prices recorded for the following categories and specific items:

  • Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal; cork and articles of cork; manufacturers of straw, of esparto or of other plaiting materials; basketware and wickerwork increased by 5.1 percent due to high import prices of hardboard and fire resistant board;
  • Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal and articles thereof; imitation jewellery increased by 2.9 percent due to high import prices of gold jewellery and imitation jewellery; and
  • Pulp of wood or of other fibrous cellulosic material; waste and scrap of paper or paperboard; paper and paperboard and articles thereof increased by 1.7 per cent due to high import prices of paperboard and paperboard articles.

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For further enquiries, please contact Ms. Uma Reddy on email or telephone 331 5822 (ext. 386 239) or direct line 323 0839.

The International Merchandise Trade Indexes (Prices) release for the June quarter of 2017 will be released in September, 2017.