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Maldives Imports Surge 31% in January, Exports Dip

Maldives Imports Surge 31% in January, Exports Dip

The Maldives witnessed a significant rise in imports during January 2024, according to the latest statistics released by the Maldives Customs Service. The total value of imported goods surged by a notable 31%, reaching a staggering MVR 5.1 billion (approximately USD 327 million). This increase comes in contrast to the export sector, which experienced a corresponding decline of 31%, with exports totaling MVR 173 million (approximately USD 11 million) during the same period.

Stripping out fuel imports, the growth remains substantial, with a 29% increase in non-fuel imports, reaching MVR 4 billion (approximately USD 257 million). Additionally, the Maldives Customs Service collected MVR 5.1 billion (approximately USD 327 million) in revenue, reflecting a commendable 7% year-on-year increase.

Fuel led the import categories, with a value of MVR 1.1 billion (approximately USD 71 million), followed closely by machinery and mechanical appliances at MVR 935 million (approximately USD 60 million). Food items, excluding pork, alcohol, and tobacco, also saw significant imports, amounting to MVR 926 million (approximately USD 59 million).

On the export front, skipjack tuna emerged as the champion, with exports valued at MVR 58 million (approximately USD 3.7 million). Frozen skipjack tuna followed closely behind at MVR 43 million (approximately USD 2.7 million), while yellowfin tuna exports reached MVR 26 million (approximately USD 1.7 million), securing the third position.

The report further delves into the source of imports, revealing that 18% of imported commodities originated from the United Arab Emirates, totaling MVR 938 million (approximately USD 60 million), making it the largest exporter to the Maldives. Oman followed closely, contributing 15% of the total imports to the island nation.

Thailand retained its position as the primary recipient of Maldivian exports, accounting for 38% of the total, with goods shipped to the Southeast Asian nation.

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The significant increase in imports points towards a potential rise in domestic economic activity and tourism, which is a crucial pillar of the Maldivian economy. However, the decline in exports highlights the need for further diversification in the export sector to reduce dependence on a few key commodities.

MMJ News Desk
Author: MMJ News Desk

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