Maldives experienced mixed trends in its imports and exports in September. According to customs data, imports last month amounted to MVR 4.4 billion, showing a 3% decline compared to the same month last year. This decline in the value of imported goods has raised concerns.
However, imports last month slightly increased compared to the previous month, rising from MVR 4.3 billion. On the other hand, exports showed a different story, with goods worth only MVR 86 million being shipped out, a significant drop compared to MVR 149 million during the same period last year.
The year-on-year data reveals a 43% decrease in exports, indicating the challenges faced by Maldives in international trade. The decline in both imports and exports raised concerns among economists and policymakers.
Despite the concerning import-export scenario, there was a glimmer of good news for the Maldivian government. Government revenue increased by 3% compared to the previous year, with MVR 360 million recorded last month, up from MVR 350 million in September the previous year. Additionally, the government received MVR 954,259 in royalties last month.
The top five import markets for the Maldives last month were Oman, India, the UAE, China, and Singapore. Oman took the lead with goods worth MVR 883 million, constituting 21% of the total imports, followed by India with MVR 681 million, making up 16% of total imports.
The largest imports were in fuel, including marine gas, petrol, and jet fuel. Food and beverages were the next significant category of imports, underlining their importance to the local market.
When it comes to exports, the top five markets remained prominent but without specific figures. Thailand, the United Kingdom, France, India, and Germany were the primary destinations for Maldivian exports in September.