Total exports have more than doubled in value in kina terms over the past six years, according to a report from the Institute of National Affairs.
Exports increased K13.3 billion in 2013 to around K34 billion last year, it stated.
The INA report said:
- Exports increased from K13.3 billion (of which K10.6 billion was from the mineral sector) in 2013, to K21.6 billion (of which K18.1 billion was from minerals), in the first partial year of LNG production, to K25.7 billion in 2016 (K21.1 billion from minerals);
- exports in 2017 totalled K31.7 billion (of which K26.6 billion was from minerals) and around K33-34 billion in 2018; and,
- This partly reflected the commencement of LNG production in 2014, despite the major fall in petroleum/gas prices in late 2014, and then the partial recovery of petroleum/gas prices in 2016 to 2018, partial recovery of copper prices, continued strength of gold, strong rise in cobalt prices, but also the initial recovery of some agricultural prices which largely slid back in 2017 and 2018.
“It also reflects the weakening kina to US dollar, which at least helped safeguard producer prices and earnings in kina to agricultural exporters and producers as well as for tourism operators,” the report said.
“It should be noted, however, that despite increased overall export earnings, production and export quantities of most of PNG’s exports products, apart from LNG, oil palm, logs, marine products and vanilla, have been steady or in some cases in decline since the early 2000s, including the products that provide jobs and incomes direct to ordinary Papua New Guinea producers and households, notably in agriculture.
“Establishing, or restoring, suitable conditions for viable and low-risk business and investment and productivity in these industries, including thorough provision of reliable public goods and services and suitable and consistent exchange rates, should be priorities in the next years, rather than the State trying to pick winners or directly invest in selected industries.”