Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's trade balance fell into deficit in November as imports of consumption goods and raw materials increased from the previous month while non-oil-and-gas exports slumped, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Monday.
A US$1.33 billion deficit was recorded in November, standing in stark contrast to the $161.3 million surplus recorded in October. The deficit is the largest recorded since April's $2.29 billion deficit.
The country recorded total exports of $14.01 billion in November, a 5.67 percent decrease year-on-year (yoy), while total imports stood at $15.34 billion, a 9.24 percent decrease yoy.
"Slowing international trade due to trade tensions has resulted in lower demand for Indonesia's products," said BPS chairman Suhariyanto during a press briefing in Jakarta on Monday, adding that a drop in the prices of several commodities continued to take a toll on the country's trade balance.
Trade frictions between the United States and China have disrupted international trade and the global supply chain with the World Trade Organization (WTO) expecting international trade in goods to grow by just 1.2 percent this year, the lowest annual increase since 2009.
Indonesia's oil and gas exports jumped 20.66 percent month-to-month (mtm) in November but agricultural, manufacturing and mining shipments slumped 1.55 percent, 6.78 percent and 14.45 percent mtm, respectively.
On the other hand, imports of consumption goods increased 16.13 percent mtm, driven by imports of food and fruit products. Imports of raw materials and capital goods rose slightly by 2.63 percent and 2.58 percent mtm, respectively.
This caused Indonesia's trade deficit to increase to $3.11 billion during the January to November period. However, the deficit is still lower than the $7.62 billion deficit recorded in the same period last year.