International Merchandise Trade Index

FBoS Release No: 64, 2015
30th September 2015


New Reference Period

The International Merchandise Trade Price Index (IMTI) has been re-referenced to an index base of 2011 = 100.0. This means that the 2011 Quarterly Prices of the IMTI will have a base index of 100.0.

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 June quarter of 2015 when compared with the March quarter of 2015:

  • The international merchandise terms of trade index fell by 0.2 percent;
  • Export prices for goods fell by 0.4 percent and
  • Import prices for goods fell by 0.1 percent.


Table 1: Summary

imti15a 

imti15b

Commentary

The seasonally unadjusted international merchandise TOT index for the June quarter of 2015 stood at 103.1. This is an increase of 0.4 percent over the June quarter of 2014.
The export price index decreased by 0.2 percent and the import price index fell by 0.5 percent respectively.
There were significant price changes in the following export and import items when comparisons were made to the March quarter of 2015 and June quarter of 2014 periods:

Export Price Index

imti15cimti15d

Changes over the March quarter of 2015

The overall Export Price Index [XPI] for the June quarter of 2015 stands at 104.5 a decrease of 0.4 percent when compared to the March quarter of 2015 [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 1.2 percent due to low export prices of gold;
  • Prepared foodstuffs; beverages, spirits and vinegar; tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes decreased by 1.1 percent due to low export prices of sugar and sugar confectionery and
  • Animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; animal or vegetable waxes decreased by 1.0 percent due to low export prices of soya bean oil and copra.

Changes over the June quarter of 2014

Compared to the June quarter of 2014 [104.7], the XPI for the June quarter of 2015 decreased by 0.2 percent. Contributing to this decrease were lower prices recorded for the following categories and specific items:

  • Prepared foodstuffs; beverages, spirits and vinegar; tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes decreased by 3.4 percent due to low export prices of sugar and sugar confectionery;
  • Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal and articles thereof; imitation jewellery decreased by 2.6 percent due to low export gold and
  • Products of the chemical or allied industries decreased by 0.9 percent due to low export prices of pharmaceutical products and essential oils.

Import Price Index

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Changes over the March quarter of 2015

The overall Import Price Index [MPI] for the June quarter of 2015 stands at 101.4 a decrease of 0.1 percent when compared to the March quarter of 2015 [101.5]. Contributing to this decrease were lower prices recorded for the following categories and specific items:

  • Live animals; animal products decreased by 0.9 percent due to low import prices of lamb, fish baits, and milk;
  • Vehicles, aircraft, vessels and associated transport equipment decreased by 0.7 percent due to low
    import prices of motor vehicles and
  • Vegetables products decreased by 0.5 percent due to low import prices of potatoes, onions, tea and spices.

Changes over the June quarter of 2014

Compared to the June quarter of 2014 [101.9], the MPI for the June quarter of 2015 decreased by 0.5 percent. Contributing to this decrease were lower prices recorded for the following categories and specific items:

  • Products of the chemical or allied industries decreased by 4.0 percent due to low import prices of pharmaceutical product, spray paint, tile glue and essential oils;
  • Machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipment and parts thereof, sound recorders, reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles decreased by 1.6 percent due to low import prices of printer, brush cutter and computer;
  • 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 decreased by 1.3 percent due to low import prices of cement board, hardboard and formica and
  • Plastics and articles thereof; rubber and articles thereof decreased by 1.3 percent due to low import prices of preforms, tubs and lids, plastic buckets and PVC table sheets.

In deriving the new indexes, the 2008 index was re-referenced to 2011 and a new index series was compiled and linked to the re-referenced index to form a continuous series. Neither the re-referencing, i.e. changing the time reference base of the linked historical series nor the linking of the new series to the old series affects the quarter-to-quarter, or year-to-year, index movements except possibly for some trivial rounding differences which are not statistically significant. The series of index number levels on the recent time reference base of 2011 is consistently and proportionately, lower than those on the reference base of 2008 due to changing the base period from 2008 to 2011.

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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 release for the September quarter of 2015 will be available by 31st December, 2015.