Extreme weather impacting Pacific exporters

Extreme weather impacting Pacific exporters

PTI 14 August 2020 – Sixty-five per cent of Pacific Island exporters reported that extreme weather has negatively impacted their business over the past year according to Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia’s ‘2020 Pacific Islands Export Survey’.

Among those affected, 41 per cent said extreme weather conditions have had a major impact on their business.

Now in its eighth year, the biennial survey provides insights into trends, changes and business sentiment across 16 countries in the Pacific Islands. For the first time, the survey of 226 export businesses was expanded to explore the impacts of weather patterns.

Increased frequency of storms (38 per cent), extreme rainfall (26 per cent), rising air temperature over land (19 per cent), decreased rainfall (17 per cent), increased flooding (16 per cent), prolonged drought (14 per cent) and rising sea levels (12 per cent) are some of the weather patterns respondents said have affected their businesses.

According to the survey, agriculture was the industry hardest hit by extreme weather. Of all export businesses affected by extreme weather, decreased productivity (56 per cent), damage to crops or products (50 per cent), and an increased cost of supplies (32 per cent) were reported as some of the main impacts.

“While nearly half of all businesses experienced an increase in export orders over the past 12 months, the survey found a quarter of exporters are now reporting a decline in revenue, as extreme weather and COVID-19 affect productivity and disrupt operations,” said Caleb Jarvis, PTI Australia’s Trade and Investment Commissioner.

“As businesses navigate economic uncertainty, they are feeling less confident about the coming year. Twenty-seven per cent expect a decline in revenue and there has been a significant decline in exporters looking to hire new employees over the next 12 months.

“However, despite the crisis, manufacturing and agriculture remain confident, indicating a strong ongoing demand for their products.”

The Lowy Institute’s Pacific Islands Program Director, Jonathan Pryke, said that while many Pacific Island exporters were doing it tough, there was good cause for optimism.

“The persistent constraints of natural disasters, alongside high fuel, finance and logistics costs, did not stop nearly half of exporters in the survey reporting growth in export revenue in the previous year. However, the pace and ferocity of COVID-19 have up-ended this optimism,” Jonathan said.

“The rapidly changing economic context is reflected in the exporter sentiment. While 61 per cent of businesses expect to see export growth in 2020, these numbers are anchored by manufacturing and agriculture.

“Tourism operators – almost half of the survey sample – are less optimistic, with 49 per cent expecting to see revenues decline,” he said.

The survey found revenue generated from international tourists is expected to decline from all geographic areas, particularly tourists from China, Japan and North America.

“The resumption of air travel through a trans-Pacific bubble will be a critical lifeline for the tourism industry and will help to drive down costs for agricultural exporters, who rely on air freight to get their goods to market,” said Mr Pryke.

To help address economic and environmental challenges, the survey found businesses are driving growth through improving process efficiency, developing new products and services, and enhancing digital marketing. Three-quarters of businesses, particularly in manufacturing, are also using online channels to generate export revenue.

Caleb said, “Following this survey, PTI Australia will continue to help exporters grow their online presence by providing data, knowledge, training and technology – making them more resilient to external shocks. It’s critical that solutions are found to key challenges such as access to affordable online payment solutions, cross-border payments and cost-effective small parcel logistic services.”

The survey also found that 74 per cent of businesses are planning to export to new markets over the next three years. Asia continues to hold the most appeal, while export to Europe and Australia will become increasingly popular, according to the survey.

Export to regions outside of the Pacific Islands continues to be high (94 per cent), with Australia and New Zealand remaining the two major export destinations.

“If there is any silver lining to 2020, it’s that Pacific exporters are accustomed to doing it tough. Despite significant headwinds, many exporters not only prevailed but prospered. Let’s hope that resilience continues in 2020,” Johnathan said.

Please visit the PTI Australia website to access the 2020 Pacific Islands Export Survey full report and highlights report.

FBoS Annual Provisional Visitors Arrival – January

FBoS Annual Provisional Visitors Arrival – January

20 February 2020 – Provisional numbers show that visitor arrivals for January 2020 totaled 65,386.

  • The January Visitors arrival records showed an increase of 2.5% in comparison to 2018, showing an increase in visitors from Australia (7.3% or 2,026), USA (8.8% or 500), UK (12.5% or 158), China (12.7% or 505), and Others (0.2% or 1)
  • Decreases in the number of visitors from New Zealand (-2.2% or down 257), Canada (-4.1% or down 46), Cont Europe (-3.6% or down 104), Japan (-35.6% or down 401), South Korea (-58.7% or down 450), Rest of Asia (-9.3% or down 172) and Pacific Islands (-3.5% or down 181)
  • The moving six months to January 2020, Fiji Bureau of Statistics has reported visitor arrival has increased by 0.2% over the corresponding period in 2019, up from 455073 to 455904.
  • In addition, the moving twelve monthly numbers ending January 2020, the total number of visitors to Fiji increased by 2.8% compared to the same period in 2019.

SPTO Market Watch – December 2019

SPTO Market Watch – December 2019

SPTO – December 2019

Market Watch is the South Pacific Tourism Organization’s monthly market intelligence summary exclusively for members. This monthly publication highlights the latest travel trends and resident departure movements in the key outbound travel markets for the Pacific, viz. Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, Asia, China and India.

*All information published in Market Watch is dependent on the availability of information from the relevant sources for each Source Market.

Monthly Market Watch December 2019 Brief – World Outbound Travel

In December 2019, an estimated 21.8 million international short term trips were undertaken worldwide, by eight international regions. This is a growth from last month’s international short term trips by 8.2% but a fall of 15.3% comparative to last year December.

Looking at total shares, USA leads the charge at 37.9%, followed by the Chinese at 22.9%. The United Kingdom lags behind at 17.5%, meanwhile in Asia, Singapore trails behind South Korea at 5.9% to 10.4% respectively. The minority of outgoing travellers from Australia, New Zealand and India capture the remaining 5.4%.Read more…

RBF Economic Review for December 2019

RBF Economic Review for December 2019

RBF Economic Review Vol 36 No 12

Global economic growth is expected to pick up to 3.4 percent in 2020 against an anticipated lackluster 3.0 percent expansion in 2019. Ongoing trade tensions
coupled with weak global demand have weighed on growth of major economies in 2019. Going forward,further escalation in United States (US)-China trade
war and an upswing in crude oil prices pose downside risks to global growth next year.
Commodity prices generally rose over the month in November due to higher demand for crude oil supported by some optimism in US-China trade deal.
The monthly increase in the FAO1 food price index was driven by higher prices of vegetable oils, meat and sugar.

The Fijian economy is expected to grow by 1.7 percent in 2020, from a 1.0 percent anticipated growth in 2019. The modest growth estimated for
2019 reflects subdued aggregate demand, mixed sectoral performances, weak business confidence and reduced fiscal stimulus.

Tourism remains positive as visitor arrivals rose by 3.5 percent cumulative to November, due to higher arrivals from
the US, New Zealand, Japan, Pacific Island Countries and Australia. In addition, tourism earnings grew by 3.7 percent to total $1,543.0 million
up to the third quarter of the year. In the 2019 crushing season, both cane (6.5%) and sugar production (5.3%) increased over the year.
Similarly, mahogany production rose significantly, while woodchips, pine wood, sawn timber and gold output fell in the year to November.

Full Report: Economic-Review-December-2019

Provisional Hotels And Tourist Accommodation Statistics, Quarter 3, 2019

Provisional Hotels And Tourist Accommodation Statistics, Quarter 3, 2019

Fiji Bureau of Statistics Release  No 1 2020

Findings from the Quarter 3, 2019 survey of Licensed Hotels, Resorts and Lodging Houses are presented in the release below;

Compared to Quarter 3, 2018
 The number of Rooms Available increased by 6.0%.
 The number of Rooms Sold increased by 8.4%.
 The Room Occupancy Rate increased by 1.3 percentage points to 62.1%.
 The number of Beds Available increased by 2.0%.
 The number of Beds Sold increased by 6.5%.
 The Bed Occupancy Rate increased by 2.4 percentage points to 57.8%.
 Takings from Accommodation, Sales of Food, Liquor, Telephone and Other
Miscellaneous Charges totaled $371.4 million, an increase of 6.8%.
 Paid Employment in the Hotel Sector increased by 3.2%.

Full report:Hotels-Qtr3-2019

Provisional Hotels And Tourist Accommodation Statistics, Quarter 3, 2019

Provisional Hotels And Tourist Accommodation Statistics, Quarter 3, 2019

FBoS Release No. 01 – 15th January 2020.

Compared to Quarter 3, 2018:
 The number of Rooms Available increased by 6.0%.
 The number of Rooms Sold increased by 8.4%.
 The Room Occupancy Rate increased by 1.3 percentage points to 62.1%.
 The number of Beds Available increased by 2.0%.
 The number of Beds Sold increased by 6.5%.
 The Bed Occupancy Rate increased by 2.4 percentage points to 57.8%.
 Takings from Accommodation, Sales of Food, Liquor, Telephone and Other
Miscellaneous Charges totaled $371.4 million, an increase of 6.8%.
 Paid Employment in the Hotel Sector increased by 3.2%.

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