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$499.7 million worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a 2.1% increase since 2013 and a 14.3% uptick from 2016 to 2017.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Solomon Islands’ total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $1.324 billion in 2017 (on a purchasing power parity basis). Therefore, exports represent an estimated 37.7% of total Solomon Islander economic output.

From a continental perspective, 91% 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 (2.5%) and also North America (0.7%).

Given Solomon Islands’ population of 647,581 people, its total $499.7 million in 2017 exports translates to about $800 for every resident in the 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 2017 at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Solomon Islands.

Drilling down to the more detailed HTS codes, Solomon Islands’ most valuable exported goods are rough wood ($322 million), fish that are dried, salted or smoked ($42.1 million), palm oil ($26.4 million), split poles or pickets ($24.1 million), aluminum ($20.2 million) then copra ($13.9 million)/

  1. Wood: US$353.3 million (70.7% of total exports)
  2. Fish: $50.8 million (10.2%)
  3. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $39.7 million (7.9%)
  4. Ores, slag, ash: $20.3 million (4.1%)
  5. Oil seeds: $14.4 million (2.9%)
  6. Meat/seafood preparations: $4.5 million (0.9%)
  7. Cocoa: $4.4 million (0.9%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $3.3 million (0.7%)
  9. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $2.6 million (0.5%)
  10. Machinery including computers: $2.3 million (0.5%)

Solomon Islands’ top 10 exports accounted for 99.1% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Ores, slag and ash was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 3,145% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving export sales was meat or seafood preparations which rose 52.9%.

Solomon Islander gems and precious metals posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 44.4% year over year, propelled by higher international sales of gold.

Two of top 10 Solomon Islander export categories declined, specifically cocoa down by -65% and machinery including computers down by -40.8%.


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 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. Wood: US$349.7 million (Up by 10% since 2016)
  2. Fish: $50.2 million (Up by 37.7%)
  3. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $35.2 million (Up by 1.4%)
  4. Ores, slag, ash: $20.2 million (Up by 3,160%)
  5. Oil seeds: $14.1 million (Up by 21.3%)
  6. Cocoa: $3.9 million (Down by -68%)
  7. Gems, precious metals: $3.2 million (Up by 45.7%)
  8. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $827,000 (Up by 32.1%)
  9. Miscellaneous animal-origin products: $240,000 (Down by -27.9%)
  10. Live animals: $214,000 (Up by 181.6%)

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 -$72.1 million product trade deficit for 2017, up from -$16.6 million in red ink one year earlier.

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. Electrical machinery, equipment: -US$83.3 million (Up by 153.9% since 2016)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: -$80 million (Up by 9.6%)
  3. Machinery including computers: -$71.6 million (Up by 42%)
  4. Cereals: -$45 million (Up by 11.4%)
  5. Vehicles : -$35.9 million (Up by 4.7%)
  6. Articles of iron or steel: -$19.7 million (Up by 12.3%)
  7. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: -$16.8 million (Up by 89.4%)
  8. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: -$13.9 million (Up by 667.6%)
  9. Cereal/milk preparations: -$13.6 million (Up by 0.7%)
  10. Meat: -$13.5 million (Up by 9.9%)

Solomon Islands has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the electrical machinery and equipment category.


Solomon Islander Export Companies

Not one Solomon Islander corporation ranks among the Forbes Global 2000 listing.

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.

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 August 27, 2018

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 27, 2018

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 27, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 27, 2018

The World Factbook, Australia-Oceania: Solomon Islands. Accessed on August 27, 2018

Wikipedia, Category:Companies of the Solomon Islands by industry. Accessed on August 27, 2018

Wikipedia, Solomon Islands. Accessed on August 27, 2018

Wikipedia, Flag of Solomon Islands. Accessed on August 27, 2018

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Honiara, Solomon Islands. Accessed on August 27, 2018