The Maldives has experienced a significant rise in imports and a drop in exports within the span of one year.
The latest monthly statistics publicized by Maldives Customs Service reveal that during December 2021, the Maldives recorded 4.5 billion as imports including fuel. This is an increase of 78 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.
Food items excluding alcohol, pork and tobacco, made up the highest proportion of imports, at 935 million. Fuel, including diesel, petrol and aviation gas, accounted for 816 million of the import figure. Meanwhile, machinery and mechanical appliances accounted for 777 million, products of the chemical or allied industries accounted for 319 million, and base metal and articles of base metal accounted for 240 million. Other significant import categories include miscellaneous manufactured articles, vessels, aircrafts and parts thereof, plastic and rubber articles, and wood articles.
The major importing countries during December 2021 were UAE (16%), China (13%), India (11%), Oman (11%), and Singapore (10%).
Additionally, as per the statistics, the level of exports during December 2021 was recorded as 327 million, which is a fall of 28 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.
The most significant export category was frozen skipjack or frozen stripe bellied bonito, at 100 million. Prepared and preserved skipjack tuna accounted for 34 million, fresh or chilled yellowfin tuna chunks accounted for 14 million, while fresh or chilled yellowfin tuna loins accounted for 13 million. Lastly, canned, prepared and preserved yellowfin tuna accounted for 12 million of exports.
The major exporting countries during December 2021 include Thailand (37%), Germany (16%), Mauritius (9%), UK (7%), and Japan (4%).
Vessel movements during December 2021 also dropped compared to the same period of 2020. While 117 vessels arrived in the Maldives in December 2021 compared to 138 in December 2020, 102 vessels departed in December 2021 compared to 116 in December 2020.
On the other hand, total number of declarations processed by Customs rose from 17,430 in December 2020 to 22,817 in December 2021. As a result, in December 2021, customs revenue grew by 23 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.