Jakarta – Indonesia secured a monthly trade balance surplus of US$200 million in June, the fourth surplus recorded after February, March and May, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) has reported.
Month-to-month (mtm) exports went down by a staggering 20.54 percent to $11.78 billion because of a 19.4 percent mtm decrease in non-oil and gas exports to $11.03 billion and a 34.36 percent mtm decrease in oil and gas exports to $750 million.
Mtm imports were also down by 20.7 percent to $11.58 billion, thanks to a 20.5 percent mtm decline in non-oil and gas imports to $9.87 billion and 21.5 percent mtm decline in oil and gas imports to $1.7 billion.
BPS head Suhariyanto told a press briefing on Monday that both exports and imports had declined because the first nine days of June had been part of the extended Idul Fitri holiday, triggering a decline in production and overall trade.
Nevertheless, he pointed out that there had been sharp downturns in several commodity prices that were largely contributed to lower exports, even though their export volumes had actually increased.
For instance, the Indonesia Crude Price (ICP) contracted to $61 per barrel from $68.07 in May. The prices of coal, which comprised 15 percent of Indonesia's total exports, as well as crude palm oil, kernel oil and zinc had also decreased, said Suhariyanto.
The surplus had led to a $1.93 billion trade deficit throughout the first half of 2019, considerably deeper than the deficit in the same period last year at $1.2 billion. Exports in the first half were down by 8.6 percent year-on-year (yoy) to $80.3 billion, while imports were down by 7.6 percent yoy to $82.2 billion.
"Certainly, we hope that this positive trend will continue in the coming months with more [supporting] policies from the government, whose implementation will continue to be monitored," said Suhariyanto. (bbn)