Brunei total trade rose 7.9 per cent year-on-year in January 2023: Report

Brunei Darussalam saw an increase of 7.9 per cent year-on-year in total trade from BND2,287.5 million in January 2022 to BND2,469 million in January 2023, according to the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics’ International Merchandise Trade Statistics report for January 2023.

The rise was primarily contributed by an 20.8-per-cent increase in export value from BND1,312.9 million to BND1,586.6 million, mainly due to the increase in mineral fuels exports from BND1,040 million to BND1,181.7 million in the same period. The increase in mineral fuels exports was mainly due to the higher export value of liquefied natural gas (LNG), with a rise in exports price by 17.4 per cent and volume exported by 15.3 per cent, as well as higher export value of other petroleum products, particularly automotive diesel fuels, from BND221.2 million to BND227.8 million.

Total value of imports decreased from BND974.6 million in January 2022 to BND882.4 million in January 2023, mainly due to a decrease in imports of mineral fuels.

In terms of commodities, mineral fuels represented the major contributor to the Sultanate’s exports at 74.5 per cent, followed by chemicals (21.7 per cent), and miscelleneous manufactured articles (1.5).

The five main imports by commodity for January 2023 were mineral fuels (66 per cent), machinery and transport equipment (12.3), food (nine), chemicals (4.4), and manufactured goods (four).

The main export markets in January 2023 was Japan (26 per cent), followed by Australia (16.9), and Singapore (14.9). The largest export commodity to Japan, Australia and Singapore was mineral fuels.

The biggest import partner were Malaysia (25.2 per cent), followed by the United Arab Emirates (16.9) and China (14.2), with mineral fuels as the largest import commodity.

Some 63.2 per cent of imports were used as intermediate goods for processing, followed by capital goods (33 per cent) for business operations and consumption goods (3.8) for household use.

In terms of month-on-month changes, compared to December 2022, total trade rose at a minimal rate of 0.02 per cent due to an increase in export by 1.4 per cent. However, it was offset by a decline in import by 2.5 per cent.

The month-to-month increase in export value was mainly due to an increase in chemicals exports from the downstream petrochemical industry.

Meanwhile, the decline in chemical was the main contributor to the decreased value of imports.

Some 95.1 per cent of trade by value was delivered through sea transport. This was followed by air (3.8 per cent) and via land (1.1).