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Indonesia books $1.09b trade surplus in March: BPS

Jakarta Post | April 17, 2018
 The Islamic Chamber of Commerce , Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA)

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) announced on Monday that Indonesia booked a US$1.09 billion trade surplus in March after posting a trade deficit for three consecutive months from December 2017 to February.

BPS head Suhariyanto said the surplus was supported by a surge in exports that reached $15.58 billion, a 6.14 percent year-on-year (yoy) increase, while the import value reached $14.49 billion, a 9.07 percent yoy increase.

“The export surge mostly occurred in non-oil and gas sectors such as agriculture commodities -- herbs, coffee and corn – that grew 20 percent,” he said, adding that exports in the industry and mining sectors also increased.

China, the United States and Japan were the three top importing countries of Indonesia’s non-oil and gas products, contributing 37.78 percent to the total Indonesian export value.

“Coal, lignite, and steel were the main products we exported to China in the first quarter,” he said.

However, the value of oil and gas exports decreased 3.81 percent month-to-month (mtm) to $1.3 billion due to a slow performance in gas exports.

Meanwhile, on the import side, industrial materials and capital goods made up over 90 percent of total imports in the first quarter of 2018, a 8.35 percent and 27.72 percent yoy increase, respectively, Suhariyanto added.

Meanwhile, imports of consumption goods only contributed 8 percent of the total import figure in March.

Suhariyanto expressed hope over Indonesia maintaining its achievement in April through the diversification of exported products. “Also, we have to create more trade partnerships with non-traditional markets,” he said.