The International Merchandise Trade Index (IMTI) measures the changes in the levels of unit values and volume of merchandise exports and imports between the Sultanate and trading partners and can assist policymakers to assess the factors that contribute to the country’s trade performance.
In the first quarter of 2022, total exports increased by 55.3 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2021, which was from BND2,825.9 million in the first quarter of 2021 to BND4,388.2 million in the first quarter of this year. The increase is due to a rise in the export unit value index by 59.7 per cent, which was contributed from the growth in the index of beverages (+82.1 per cent), crude materials inedible (+68.9 per cent) and mineral fuels index (+61.8 per cent). Rising prices of these commodities in the world market are among the main factors contributing to the increase in exports unit value index in the first quarter of 2022.
Meanwhile, the export volume index fell by 5.8 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2021, contributed by the decline in the exports volume index of crude materials inedible such as crude fertiliser (-24.0 per cent), beverages (-12.8 per cent), and mineral fuels (-6.3 per cent). The decline in the export volume index is among others indicated a decline in terms of the quantity of goods exported abroad.
The total imports in the first quarter of 2022 also increased by 29.5 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2021 due to the rise in imports unit value index by 3.2 per cent. The rise in the imports units value index was mainly contributed by mineral fuels (+51.6 per cent), animal and vegetables oils and fats (+28.1 per cent) and chemicals (+20.8 per cent) which reflected the increase in prices for those goods from the producing countries.
The imports volume index decreased by 7.8 per cent in first quarter 2022. The decline was mainly attributed by lower volume imported in the index of manufactured goods (-33.8 per cent); animal and vegetables oils and fats (-15.4 per cent); and miscellaneous manufactured articles (-6.5 per cent).
The terms of trade registered an increase of 54.8 per cent in first quarter 2022 compared to first quarter 2021, which mainly contributed by the growth of beverages index at 99.4 per cent. The growth in the term of trade reflected that the unit value of exported goods was higher compared to the unit of imported goods. Terms of trade is a measure of the purchasing power of the Sultanate’s exports and imports to and from abroad.
IMTI reflects the trends of unit value and quantity of import and export commodities in Brunei within a certain period of time. The index can also be used in the analysis of competitiveness, measurement and forecasting of inflation and compilation of national accounts. The full report of IMTI for the first quarter of 2022 is available on https://deps.mofe.gov.bn.