Norman Harsono, Jakarta – Indonesia posted a trade surplus of US$85.1 million in August in a reversal from the trade deficit it recorded the previous month, according to the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS).
"In August 2019, exports fell, but imports fell even more sharply in value," BPS head Suhariyanto said on Monday in Jakarta, explaining the surplus.
BPS data for August shows that exports decreased 7.6 percent month-to-month (mtm) to $14.28 billion while imports decreased 8.53 percent mtm to $14.20 billion. The data also indicates a significant year-on-year improvement in the balance of trade compared to the $953 million deficit recorded in August 2018.
"The surplus is not as high as we hoped, but it is still positive and will help fix the trade deficit," added Suhariyanto.
Exports were driven down mainly due to the declining price of coal, rubber and palm oil, while imports were driven down mainly due to a decline in the price of electronics, plastics and oil and gas.
Indonesia's trade balance booked a $1.81 billion deficit in January-August, significantly lower than the $4.16 billion deficit it booked in the same period last year.