Top 10 Exports from Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands flag courtesy of Wikipedia

Solomon Is. flag (Wikipedia)

A sovereign Oceanian nation comprised of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands northeast of Australia, Solomon Islands shipped US$437.3 million worth of goods around the globe in 2016. That dollar amount results from a -10.6% decline since 2013 but a 9.2% year-over-year gain since 2015.

Solomon Islands’ top 10 exports accounted for 99% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Solomon Islands’ total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $1.198 billion in 2016 (on a purchasing power parity basis). Therefore, exports represent an estimated 36.5% of total Solomon Islander economic output.

From a continental perspective, 80.8% of Solomon Islander exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 15.7% were sold to importers in Europe. Solomon Islands shipped smaller percentages to fellow Oceanian trade partners (3%) and also North America (0.4%).

Given Solomon Islands’ population of 647,581 people, its total $437.3 million in 2016 exports translates to about $675 for every resident in that country.

Solomon Islands’ unemployment rate was an estimated 31.4% in 2016 according to

Solomon Islands’ Top 10 Exports

Top 10

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

  1. Wood: US$321.7 million (73.6% of total exports)
  2. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $37.7 million (8.6%)
  3. Fish: $36.7 million (8.4%)
  4. Cocoa: $12.6 million (2.9%)
  5. Oil seeds: $11.8 million (2.7%)
  6. Machinery including computers: $3.9 million (0.9%)
  7. Meat/seafood preparations: $2.9 million (0.7%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $2.3 million (0.5%)
  9. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $2.2 million (0.5%)
  10. Vehicles : $1 million (0.2%)

Machinery including computers was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 140.7% for the 5-year period starting in 2013.

In second place for improving export sales was oil seeds which improved by 53.7%.

Solomon Islander food industry waste and animal fodder posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 46.6%.

Two of top 10 Solomon Islander export categories declined, specifically gems and precious metals down by -97.9% and fish down by -41.9%.


The following types of Solomon Islander 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. Wood: US$318 million (Up by 26.7% since 2013)
  2. Fish: $36.4 million (Down by -41.7%)
  3. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $34.7 million (Up by 14.4%)
  4. Cocoa: $12.1 million (Up by 44.3%)
  5. Oil seeds: $11.6 million (Up by 59.2%)
  6. Gems, precious metals: $2.2 million (Down by -97.9%)
  7. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $626,000 (Down by -191.5%)
  8. Ores, slag, ash: $621,000 (Up by 24.7%)
  9. Miscellaneous animal-origin products: $333,000 (Down by -68.2%)
  10. Live animals: $76,000 (Up by 3,700%)

Solomon Islands has highly positive net exports in the international trade of timber-related products. In turn, these cashflows indicate Solomon Islands’s strong competitive advantages under the wood category.


Overall, Solomon Islands incurred a -$16.6 million product trade deficit for 2016.

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

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$73 million (Down by -57.9% since 2012)
  2. Machinery including computers: -$50.4 million (Down by -13.4%)
  3. Cereals: -$40.4 million (Down by -15%)
  4. Vehicles : -$34.3 million (Up by 22.1%)
  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$32.8 million (Down by -23.8%)
  6. Articles of iron or steel: -$17.5 million (Up by 18.3%)
  7. Cereal/milk preparations: -$13.5 million (Up by 18.3%)
  8. Iron, steel: -$13.4 million (Up by 87.1%)
  9. Meat: -$12.3 million (Up by 23.2%)
  10. Plastics, plastic articles: -$12 million (Up by 7.3%)

Solomon Islands has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the mineral fuels including oil category, particularly for refined petroleum oils and to a lesser extent petroleum gas.


Solomon Islander Export Companies

Not one Solomon Islander corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2016.

Wikipedia lists a couple of entities from Solomon Islands that participate in international trade. Two examples are shown below:

  • Central Bank of Solomon Island (governing bank)
  • Solomon Airlines (airliner)

Solomon Islands’s capital city is Honiara.

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 5, 2017

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 5, 2017

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 5, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 5, 2017

The World Factbook, Australia-Oceania: Solomon Islands. Accessed on September 5, 2017

Wikipedia, Category:Companies of the Solomon Islands by industry. Accessed on September 5, 2017

Wikipedia, Solomon Islands. Accessed on September 5, 2017

Wikipedia, Flag of Solomon Islands. Accessed on September 5, 2017

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Honiara, Solomon Islands. Accessed on September 5, 2017