According to the International Monetary Fund and other sources, Solomon Islands' exports in 1999 were valued at US$116 million (a drop from US$168 million in 1995) and imports at US$110 million (a drop from US$154 million in 1995). The drop can be attributed in part to the economic crisis in Asia, which lowered demand for the logging exports of the Solomon Islands. Despite the drop in overall trade activity, Solomon Islands has had a positive balance of trade in recent years, a situation rare among Pacific countries. This may be attributed to high volumes of log exports during the 1990s and, to a lesser extent, the steady export of fish products.
Japan is by far the largest destination for exports, taking about one-third of all exports by value in 1999. It is also an important destination for timber products, even though companies operating in this industry are mainly Korean. The largest fishing enterprise in Solomon Islands
|Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Solomon Islands|
|SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.|
is a subsidiary of the Japanese Taiyo Company, and many of the fish products are destined for the Japanese market. Other important export destinations for its timber and fish are Thailand and the Philippines.
Imports from Australia account for 37 percent of the total imports to Solomon Islands, making it the single largest source. The next largest import sources are Singapore, Japan, and New Zealand, which provide a variety of foodstuffs, fuels, and machinery.