Samoa’s Top 10 Exports

Samoa flag courtesy of Wikipedia

Samoa flag (Wikipedia)

An Oceanic island group about 3,200 kilometers (1,988.4 miles) northeast of New Zealand, the Independent State of Samoa shipped US$56 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016. That dollar amount results from a -26.4% decline since 2012 and a -4.9% retreat from 2015 to 2016.

Samoa’s top 10 exports accounted for 96.1% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Samoa’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $1.046 billion in 2016 (on a purchasing power parity basis). Therefore, exports represent an estimated 5.4% of total Samoan economic output.

From a geographic perspective, $30.6 million or 54.5% of Samoan exports by value were delivered to other Oceanian countries while 25.8% were sold to importers in the United States Minor Outlying Islands. Smaller percentages of Samoan exports were shipped to Asia (12.3%), North America (6.7%) and Europe (0.7%).

Given Samoa’s population of 200,108 people, its total $56 billion in 2016 exports translates to roughly $280 for every resident in that country.

Based on data from the World Bank, in 2016 Samoa’s unemployment rate was 5.748% of the Samoan labor force.

Samoa’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Samoan global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Samoa.

  1. Fish: US$17 million (30.3% of total exports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $15.5 million (27.7%)
  3. Mineral fuels including oil: $12 million (21.5%)
  4. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $3.3 million (6%)
  5. Vegetables: $2.5 million (4.4%)
  6. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $1.6 million (2.8%)
  7. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $879,000 (1.6%)
  8. Oil seeds: $396,000 (0.7%)
  9. Fruits, nuts: $321,000 (0.6%)
  10. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $300,000 (0.5%)

Oil seeds was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 9,800% for the 5-year period starting in 2012.

In second place for improving export sales was vegetables which rose by 531.2% led by manioc, arrowroot, salep, jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes and similar roots and tubers.

Samoan vegetable, fruit and nut preparations posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 274.5%.

The leading decliner among the top 10 Samoan export categories was animal or vegetable fats, oils and waxes which was down by -77.2%.


The following types of Samoan product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Fish: US$6.9 million (Up by 3.8% since 2012)
  2. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $1.6 million (Down by -328.4%)
  3. Oil seeds: $156,000 (Down by -254.5%)
  4. Other base metals: $42,000 (Down by -1,500%)
  5. Collector items, art, antiques: $14,000 (Down by -566.7%)
  6. Paper yarn, woven fabric: $8,000 (Up by 700%)

Samoa has highly positive net exports in the international trade of fish. In turn, these cashflows indicate Samoa’s strong competitive advantages under the fish product category.


Overall, Samoa incurred a -$293.8 million product trade deficit for 2016.

Below are exports from Samoa that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Samoa’s goods trail Samoan importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$36.2 million (Down by -41.8% since 2012)
  2. Vehicles: -$24.7 million (Up by 90.4%)
  3. Meat: -$24.5 million (Down by -7.2%)
  4. Machinery including computers: -$19.8 million (Up by 9.9%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: -$16.7 million (Up by 30.8%)
  6. Articles of iron or steel: -$13.7 million (Up by 13.3%)
  7. Wood: -$11.7 million (Down by -5%)
  8. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$11.2 million (Down by -200.9%)
  9. Cereal/milk preparations: -$10.6 million (Up by 17.4%)
  10. Dairy, eggs, honey: -$10 million (Up by 5.8%)

Samoa has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits particularly for refined petroleum oils and petroleum gas under the mineral fuels including oil category.


Samoan Export Companies

Not one Samoan corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2016.

The registered companies listing maintained by Samoa’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Labour records exports-related companies from Samoa. Selected examples are shown below:

  • APIA Export Fisheries Ltd (fishing, aquaculture)
  • CJ Exports & Imports Ltd (furniture)
  • Health Seafood Export Limited (fishing, aquaculture)
  • Maiden Agricultural Trade & Export (food product manufacturer)
  • Samoa Export Co Ltd (agriculture, fishing)
  • Sea & Lagoon Export Ltd (fishing, aquaculture)

Samoa’s capital city is Apia.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Australia’s Top 10 Exports, New Zealand’s Top 10 Exports and Top Oceanian Export Countries

Research Sources:
Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 6, 2017

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 6, 2017

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 6, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 6, 2017

Samoa’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Labour, Samoa Company Registry. Accessed on September 6, 2017

The World Factbook, Australia-Oceania: Samoa. Accessed on September 6, 2017

Wikipedia, Flag of Samoa. Accessed on September 6, 2017

Wikipedia, Samoa. Accessed on September 6, 2017

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Apia, Samoa. Accessed on September 6, 2017