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$44.4 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a -28.5% decline since 2013 and a -20.8% drop from 2016 to 2017.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Samoa’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $1.134 billion in 2017 (on a purchasing power parity basis). Therefore, exports represent an estimated 3.9% of total Samoan economic output.

From a geographic perspective, over half (54%) of Samoan exports by value were delivered to fellow Oceanian countries while 26.6% were sold to importers in the United States Minor Outlying Islands. Smaller percentages of Samoan exports were shipped to Asia (12.3%), North America (5.7%) and Europe (0.6%).

Given Samoa’s population of 200,108 people, its total $44.4 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $220 for every resident in that country.

Based on Trading Economics data, Samoa’s unemployment rate was 7.2% in 2016.

Samoa’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Samoan global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Samoa.

  1. Fish: US$13.2 million (29.6% of total exports)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $12.9 million (29.1%)
  3. Vegetables: $4.3 million (9.7%)
  4. Electrical machinery, equipment: $3.5 million (7.9%)
  5. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $2.1 million (4.7%)
  6. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $1.7 million (3.9%)
  7. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $866,000 (2%)
  8. Fruits, nuts: $754,000 (1.7%)
  9. Plastics, plastic articles: $440,000 (1%)
  10. Iron, steel: $360,000 (0.8%)

Samoa’s top 10 exports accounted for 90.3% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Plastics and plastic articles was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories via a 274.5% gain from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving export sales was fruits and nuts. That category appreciated by 127.8% led by coconuts and, to a lesser extent, cashew nuts.

Samoan iron and steel posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 127.8% year over year.

The leading decliner among the top 10 Samoan export categories was electrical machinery and equipment which dropped -77.6%.


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 represent 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$11.7 million (Down by -14.4% since 2016)
  2. Vegetables: $381,000 (Reversing a -$3 million deficit)
  3. Gems, precious metals: $136,000 (Reversing a -$54,000 deficit)
  4. Other base metals: $6,000 (Reversing a -$4,000 deficit)
  5. Plaiting products, basketware, wickerwork: $5,000 (Down by -120%)

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 -$311.8 million product trade deficit for 2017.

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$44.1 million (Up by 22.1% since 2016)
  2. Meat: -$26.7 million (Up by 8.7%)
  3. Vehicles: -$23.2 million (Down by -6.5%)
  4. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$22.6 million (Reversing a $7.4 million surplus)
  5. Machinery including computers: -$19.2 million (Down by -2.8%)
  6. Articles of iron or steel: -$15 million (Up by 10.3%)
  7. Wood: -$11.9 million (Up by 1.6%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: -$11 million (Down by -34.2%)
  9. Dairy, eggs, honey: -$10.8 million (Up by 10.6%)
  10. Cereal/milk preparations: -$10 million (Down by -5.1%)

Samoa has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits particularly for refined petroleum oils and petroleum gas under the mineral fuels-related 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 10, 2018

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 10, 2018

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 10, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 10, 2018

Samoa’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Labour, Samoa Company Registry. Accessed on September 10, 2018

The World Factbook, Australia-Oceania: Samoa. Accessed on September 10, 2018

Wikipedia, Flag of Samoa. Accessed on September 10, 2018

Wikipedia, Samoa. Accessed on September 10, 2018

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Apia, Samoa. Accessed on September 10, 2018