The Jakarta Post
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has blamed accelerating economic activity for an increase in energy imports, the largest contributor to the country’s trade deficit in August.
Statistics Indonesia announced on Monday that the country’s trade deficit had risen to US$1.02 billion in August, mostly as a result of oil and gas imports, which had increased by 14.5 percent from the previous month to $3.05 billion.
Meanwhile, exports of oil and gas products dropped 3.27 percent over the same month to $1.38 billion.
Deputy Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arcandra Tahar said on Monday that the government had actually expected to see lower imports in August, as exports had decreased around 3 percent month-to-month (mtm).
“It should be lower. Yet we see increasing economic activity that resulted in higher diesel imports,” he said in a press briefing.
Arcandra explained that the takeover of oil and gas blocks by state-owned energy holding company Pertamina had also contributed to the decline in oil and gas exports.
Pertamina recently assumed control of the Mahakam Block, which had been operated by Total E&P Indonesie and Inpex Corporation since 1966. (bbn)