Jakarta – Indonesia's trade surplus widened to $2.90 billion last month from $2.70 billion in the same month a year ago, despite the country's palm oil export embargo, keeping the balance in the black for the 25th consecutive month.
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) Wednesday reported exports increased by 27 percent to $21.51 billion from the same month a year ago. Still, it was the lowest export in the last four months due to fewer working days during the Idul Fitri holiday and the palm oil export ban that lasted until May 23.
"Our palm oil is experiencing restrictions so that exports declined in May 2022," BPS head Setianto said on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the agency said that imports increased at a faster pace of 30.7 percent to $18.61 billion, thanks to a rise in local demand.
The country's trade surplus of $2.70 billion in May was the smallest in four months, missing the consensus estimation of $3.8 billion.
Over the first five months of this year, the country has accumulated a surplus of $19.79 billion, BPS said.
Exports from the manufacturing sector reached $14.14 billion, up 7.78 percent from a year ago and contributing 65.7 percent to total exports in May. The sector would have posted a higher growth rate if it were not for the palm oil export ban. The agency recorded crude palm oil as one of the manufacturing sector exports.
The mining sector, on the other hand, doubled from a year ago. The agency said that copper, lignite, and other ores exports were up 114 percent to $5,58 billion.
In total, non-oil and gas exports rose 25.3 percent to $20.0 billion in May, from the same month last year.
The most significant non-oil and gas exports in May 2022 were to China at $4.59 billion, followed by India at 2.26 billion and the United States at $2.05 billion. The three markets contributed 44.49 percent of the month's total export. Meanwhile, exports to Asean and the European Union member countries reached $4.07 billion and $1.46 billion, respectively.
On the other hand, non-oil and gas imports increased by 25.3 percent to $15.26 billion from a year ago.