Year over year, Fijian exported products flatlined via a -1.4% slowdown from $827.6 million during 2020.
Fiji’s top 5 exports by value are: mineral and aerated waters, refined petroleum oils, whole frozen fish, unwrought gold, fuel wood including wood chips and saw dust, then sugar. Collectively, those 5 export categories represent 42.5% of the total revenues earned by Fiji’s overall exports in 2021.
Most Valuable Trade Partners for Fiji’s Exports
The latest available country-specific data shows that more than three-quarters (76.5%) of products exported from Fiji were bought by importers in: United States of America (20.4% of Fiji’s global total), Australia (16.5%), New Zealand (8.2%), Tonga (5.8%), mainland China (5.7%), Japan (4%), Vanuatu (3.6%), Samoa (3.5%), Kiribati (3.1%), Tuvalu (2.1%), American Samoa (1.9%) and Vietnam (1.8%).
From a continental perspective, 50.7% of Fiji’s total exports by value was delivered to fellow Oceania traders led by Australia and New Zealand while 26.2% was sold to importers in North America. Fiji shipped another 16% worth of goods to Asia.
Smaller percentages went to Europe (6.4%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (0.6%), and Africa (0.1%).
Given Fiji’s population of 905,000 people, its estimated $815.9 million in 2021 exports translates to about $900 for every person living in Fiji. That dollar metric exceeds the average $700 one year earlier during 2020.
Fiji’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Fijian global shipments during 2021, 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 Fiji.
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: US$108 million (13.2% of total exports)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $91.3 million (11.2%)
- Fish: $70 million (8.6%)
- Gems, precious metals: $59.1 million (7.2%)
- Wood: $58.1 million (7.1%)
- Sugar, sugar confectionery: $44.1 million (5.4%)
- Cereal/milk preparations: $41.1 million (5%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $31 million (3.8%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $25.8 million (3.2%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $20.2 million (2.5%)
Fiji’s top 10 exports accounted for 67.2% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Wood represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 61.1% from 2020 to 2021.
In second place for improving export sales was electrical machinery and equipment via a 7.3% advance.
Fiji’s shipments of cereal or milk preparations posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 6.1%.
The leading decliner among Fiji’s top 10 export categories was aircraft and spacecraft thanks to its -28.6% year-over-year reduction.
From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, mineral or aerated waters represent Fiji’s most valuable exported product at 12.8% of the country’s total. In second place were processed petroleum oils (10.6%) trailed by whole frozen fish (7.5%), unwrought gold (7.2%), fuel wood, wood chips and sawdust (4.4%), sugar (3.8%), bread and biscuits plus cakes and pastries (2.8%), plants used for perfumes (2.3%), aircraft parts (2.3%) then sawn wood (also 2.3%).
Products Generating Fiji’s Largest Trade Surpluses
The following types of Fijian 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.
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: US$94.7 million (Down by -1.5% since 2020)
- Gems, precious metals: $54.7 million (Down by -5.8%)
- Fish: $50.1 million (Down by -2.2%)
- Wood: $49.7 million (Up by 81.7%)
- Sugar, sugar confectionery: $33.2 million (Down by -30.2%)
- Cereal/milk preparations: $24.9 million (Down by -6.4%)
- Oil seeds: $9.2 million (Down by -9.3%)
- Milling products, malt, starches: $8.3 million (Down by -8.1%)
- Coffee, tea, spices: $7.9 million (Up by 154.6%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $7.3 million (Down by -51.6%)
Fiji generated highly positive net exports in the international trade of waters including natural or artificial mineral waters plus aerated waters. In turn, these cashflows indicate Fiji’s strong competitive advantages under the beverages, spirits and vinegar category.
Products Causing Fiji’s Worst Trade Deficits
Fiji incurred an overall estimated -$1.3 billion trade deficit for 2021, up by 43.7% from -$905.8 million in red ink one year earlier.
Below are exports from Fiji that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Fiji’s goods trail Fijian importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$257 million (Up by 31.1% since 2020)
- Machinery including computers: -$150.6 million (Up by 10.7%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: -$143.3 million (Up by 2007.9%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$115.4 million (Up by 33.6%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$102.2 million (Up by 42.4%)
- Vehicles: -$97.1 million (Up by 29.2%)
- Cereals: -$81.6 million (Up by 9%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$62.9 million (Up by 26.8%)
- Dairy, eggs, honey: -$44.6 million (Up by 21.9%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$37.1 million (Up by 30.8%)
Fiji incurred highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the mineral fuels-related category, notably for refined petroleum oils and petroleum gases.
Fijian Export Companies
Not one Fijian corporation ranks on the Forbes Global 2000 list.
Wikipedia lists exports-related companies from Fiji. Selected examples are shown below.
- Dominion Fashions Limited (clothing)
- Falani Marketing Fiji Ltd (agricultural produce, fish)
- Fiji Recyclers (recycled tires)
- Krishna Export Handicraft (wood handicraft)
- Nelesh Kamal Co (kava)
- Organic Earth Fiji (skin care products)
- Popular Furniture Limited (home furniture)
- Scud Timber (Fiji) Ltd (sandalwood)
In macroeconomic terms, Fiji’s total exported goods represent 7.5% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2021 ($10.9 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 7.5% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2021 compares to 6% for 2020. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Fiji’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Fiji’s unemployment rate averaged 9% in 2021, down from an average 13.351% for 2020 per the International Monetary Fund.
Fiji’s capital city is Suva.
See also America’s Top Trading Partners, Australia’s Top Trading Partners, New Zealand’s Top Trading Partners and Tonga’s Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Australia-Oceania: Fiji. Accessed on July 25, 2022
FlagPictures.org, Flag of Fiji. Accessed on July 25, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on July 25, 2022
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity)
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 25, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 25, 2022
Wikipedia, Fiji. Accessed on July 25, 2022
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on July 25, 2022
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on July 25, 2022