That estimated dollar amount reflects a 0.9% increase from $569.1 million five years earlier in 2018.
Year over year, the overall value of exported products from the Solomon Islands rose 7.2% compared to $535.8 million in 2021.
The top 5 most valuable exports from the Solomon Islands by value are rough wood, preserved or prepared fish including caviar, palm oil, unwrought gold and frozen whole fish. Combined, that quintet of leading exports represents 86% of the overall value of Solomon Islands’ international shipments. Such a high a percentage indicates a concentrated portfolio of exported goods.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Solomon Islands dollar depreciated by -2.6% against the US dollar since 2018 and diluted by -1.6% from 2021 to 2022. Solomon Islands’ weaker local currency makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Solomon Islands’ Major Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that 94.3% of products exported from the Solomon Islands were bought by importers in: mainland China (66.8% of the Solomon Islands’ global total), Italy (7.2%), India (5.1%), Switzerland (2.4%), Thailand (2.1%), Taiwan (2%), Netherlands (1.92%), Philippines (1.88%), Malaysia (1.5%), Hong Kong (1.4%), United Kingdom (1.1%) and Singapore (0.9%).
From a continental perspective, 83.8% of the Solomon Islands’ exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 13.1% were sold to importers in Europe.
Solomon Islands shipped another 2.7% worth of goods to Oceania led by Australia and New Zealand, with a smaller percentage going to North America (0.5%).
Given Solomon Islands’ population of 700,000 people, its total $532.7 million in 2022 exports translates to about $760 for every resident on these Oceanian islands. That dollar metric is less than the average $830 per capita one year earlier during 2021.
Solomon Islands’ Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Solomon Islander global shipments during 2022 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.
- Wood: US$372.8 million (64.9% of total exports)
- Meat/seafood preparations: $68.8 million (12%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $57.2 million (10%)
- Gems, precious metals: $22.6 million (3.9%)
- Fish: $21.8 million (3.8%)
- Oil seeds: $8.6 million (1.5%)
- Cocoa: $6.3 million (1.1%)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: $2.4 million (0.4%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $1.5 million (0.3%)
- Miscellaneous animal-origin products: $695,000 (0.1%)
Solomon Islands’ top 10 exports accounted for 98% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Fish was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 82.6% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was the gems and precious metals category via a 72.1% advance, propelled by greater international revenues from exported gold.
Solomon Islands’ shipments of oil seeds posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 26.6%.
The leading decliner among Solomon Islands’ top 10 export categories was cocoa, recording a -26% year-over-year drop.
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, rough wood represents the Solomon Islands’ most valuable exported product at some three-fifths (60.8%) of the country’s total. In second place was preserved and prepared fish and caviar (11.3%) trailed by palm oil (7.3%), unwrought gold (3.9%), frozen whole fish (2.7%), coconut, palm or babassu oils (also 2.7%), veneer sheets (2.1%), sawn wood (1.8%), cocoa beans (1.1%), then aquatic invertebrates excluding crustaceans and molluscs.
Products Generating Best Trade Surpluses for Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands generated an overall US$34.8 million product trade surplus for 2022, reducing by -23.6% from $45.6 million in black ink one year earlier for 2021.
The following types of Solomon Islander product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus in 2022. 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.
- Wood: US$369.9 million (Down by -2.2% since 2021)
- Meat/seafood preparations: $58.2 million (Up by 30.6%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $48.6 million (Up by 15.9%)
- Gems, precious metals: $22.5 million (Up by 72.5%)
- Oil seeds: $8.5 million (Up by 32%)
- Cocoa: $6.1 million (Down by -26.2%)
- Fish: $3.8 million (Reversing a -$3.3 million deficit)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: $1.6 million (Up by 90%)
- Miscellaneous animal-origin products: $443,000 (Down by -2.4%)
- Live animals: $215,000 (Down by -68%)
Solomon Islands has positive net exports notably in the international trade of timber-related products. In turn, these cashflows indicate Solomon Islands’ strong competitive advantages under the wood category.
Products Causing Worst Trade Deficits for Solomon Islands
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.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$119.3 million (Up by 52.3% since 2021)
- Machinery including computers: -$50.7 million (Up by 1.7%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$36.5 million (Up by 19%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$27.7 million (Up by 41.2%)
- Vehicles: -$26 million (Up by 1.5%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$23.6 million (Down by -10.5%)
- Iron, steel: -$19.2 million (Down by -41.5%)
- Cereals: -$15.3 million (Up by 33.5%)
- Cereal/milk preparations: -$12.1 million (Up by 7.1%)
- Meat: -$11.8 million (Down by -16.5%)
Solomon Islands has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the mineral fuels including oil category, notably red ink for crude petroleum oil and petroleum gas.
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)
In macroeconomic terms, Solomon Islands’ total exported goods represent 34.2% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($1.678 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 34.2% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 31.9% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Solomon Islands’ total economic performance, albeit based on a relatively short timeframe.
Another key indicator of economic performance is its unemployment rate. Solomon Islands’ unemployment rate averaged 1.543% in 2022, up from an average 1.029% one year earlier for 2021 according to Trading Economics.
Solomon Islands’ capital city is Honiara.
See also Australia’s Top 10 Exports, Australia’s Top Trading Partners, New Zealand’s Top 10 Exports and Top Oceanian Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Australia-Oceania: Solomon Islands. Accessed on September 28, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’ Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 28, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 28, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 28, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 28, 2023
Wikipedia, Category:Companies of the Solomon Islands by industry. Accessed on September 28, 2023
Wikipedia, Flag of Solomon Islands. Accessed on September 28, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on September 28, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on September 28, 2023
Wikipedia, Solomon Islands. Accessed on September 28, 2023
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Honiara, Solomon Islands. Accessed on September 28, 2023