The loss of the phosphate industry, copra price fluctuations, and the islands' remoteness have hindered overseas trade, but an upward trend in foreign trade was perceptible in the 1980s. Copra—the only commodity exported by Kiribati—accounted for 64% of total domestic exports in 1996. Fish and seaweed are also exported, accounting for 14% and 8% of total exports, respectively. Kiribati's main export partners are the US, Australia, and New Zealand. Australia provides 44% of imports; Fiji, 19%; Japan, 15%; New Zealand, 4%; and the US and China, 5% each.
In 1999 Kiribati's imports were distributed among the following categories: