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2021 sees 62.8 per cent growth in exports

The Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (DEPS) has released for the first time a report on the International Merchandise Trade Index (IMTI) for the year 2021. The IMTI report will subsequently be released for every quarter beginning the first quarter of 2022.

The publication of this report follows international practices as recommended by the United Nations (UN) Statistics Division.

IMTI measures the changes in the levels of unit values and volume of merchandise exports and imports between Brunei Darussalam and trading partners of the rest of the world and can assist policymakers to assess the factors that contribute to the country’s trade performance.

In 2021, the total exports increased by 62.8 per cent from BND9,121.8 million in 2020 to BND14,854.8 million. The increase was due to exports unit value index rose by 50.1 per cent, contributed from the growth in the index of mineral fuels (+52.3 per cent); chemicals (+46.2 per cent); and food (+21.0 per cent), reflecting the increase in prices of such products in the world market.

The exports volume index fell by 10.9 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020, contributed by the decline in the exports volume index of chemicals (-24.1 per cent); machinery and transport equipment (-17.8 per cent); crude materials inedible (-11.6 per cent); and mineral fuels (-10.7 per cent). The decline in export volume indicates a decline in terms of the quantity of goods exported abroad.

The total imports in 2021 also increased by 57 per cent due to the rise in imports unit value index by 4.3 per cent. The increase in the imports unit value index was contributed by mineral fuels index (+46.2 per cent), animal and vegetables oils and fats index (+14.1 per cent); and miscellaneous manufactured articles index (+11.5 per cent). The increase in the index of value of the goods reflects the increase in prices for those goods from external markets.

The imports volume index decreased by 12.5 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020. The decline was mainly attributed by lower volume imported in the index of machinery and transport equipment (-27.1 per cent); manufactured goods (-26.2 per cent); and mineral fuels (-10.8 per cent).

The terms of trade registered an increase of 43.9 per cent in 2021, which entails that the unit value of exported goods is higher compared to the unit value of imported goods.

The main contributor to the positive growth was from chemicals at 37.3 per cent. Terms of trade is a measure of the purchasing power of the Sultanate’s exports and imports to and from abroad.

The full report of IMTI 2021 which includes information and data since 2015 is available from DEPS’ website at https://deps.mofe.gov.bn.