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Country Report Tonga Product Image

Country Report Tonga

  • ID: 2138734
  • May 2015
  • Region: Tonga
  • 17 Pages
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

On May 12th the National Reserve Bank of Tonga (NRBT, Tonga's central bank) released data showing that exports of agricultural products had reached 365.1 tonnes in March, down by 34.9% year on year.

The volume of agricultural exports was down by 15.8% month on month in March, led by a 34% fall in exports of root vegetables such as cassava, sweet potatoes and yam. Fruit exports were up by 23.7% month on month, with higher shipments of breadfruit, brown coconuts and watermelons. However, in overall terms the agricultural sector is performing poorly: agricultural exports in the year to March (April 2014-March 2015) were down by 11.7% year on year to 9,108 tonnes, which the NRBT ascribed to a drought that hit exports of vegetables and fruits. Consequently, the NRBT stated that proceeds from agricultural exports were down by 32.9% year on year in Tonga pa'anga terms in the 12-month period, although the precise figure was not given.

The NRBT stated on the back of these results that the overall agricultural sector would record a contraction in fiscal year 2014/15 (July-June). The risk of inclement weather continues to pose a significant downside risk to the sector's performance. Prices for domestically produced foods were up by 0.2% month on month in March, being offset by a 4.4% month-on-month fall in prices for imported foods. With merchandise imports in the year to March reaching T$299m (US$151m) against T$15m in exports, a fall in agricultural exports has little impact on the overall external balance.

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Country Report Tonga

Agriculture exports struggle
Impact on the forecast

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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

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