SAMOAN EXPORTS UP IN JANUARY, BUT TRADE DEFICIT INCREASES

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APIA, Samoa (March 19, 1999 - PACNEWS)---The value of Samoa’s exports rose 24 percent in January, but there also was a surge in imports which pushed up the country's trade deficit to US$ 98 million.

According to the Central Bank's latest Foreign Trade Report, increases in the export of copra, coconut cream, banana and taro caused a 14 per cent rise in earnings in January, compared to the same period last year.

The report said Germany was Samoa's biggest trading partner for the month because of a rise in copra exports to the European nation.

The Central Bank also reported that 99 percent of all imports were funded from Samoa’s foreign exchange holdings. The remaining one percent came as gifts and other business related imports.

Although government imports increased, private sector imports for January dropped by 28 percent compared to January 1997.

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