The Jakarta Post
Although the country booked a trade surplus of US$230 million in September, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said exports had not met the government’s expectations.
“Imports started to decrease, lower than exports. But we hope exports continue to increase,” Sri Mulyani said after a hearing on the state budget at the House of Representatives building in Jakarta on Monday.
Statistics Indonesia (BPS) said exports decreased 6.58 percent month-to-month(mtm) to $14.83 billion in September, from the figure in August, which was recorded at $15.82 billion, while imports were recorded at $14.60 billion, a decrease of 13.18 percent mtm from the figure in August.
However, the trade deficit stood at $3.78 billion from January to September.
Sri Mulyani, however, expected the trade surplus to continue in order to maintain the current account deficit until the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjoyo saw the trade surplus as a positive sign, although he did not expect the current account deficit to narrow to below 3 percent of gross domestic product this year.
Speaking about the slow import growth, Perry explained that demand for crude palm oil (CPO) was still weak in the international market, particularly from traditional markets such as China.
“With the slow economic growth in China, demand for the commodity is still weak. Therefore, we cannot rely on that commodity to boost exports,” he added as quoted by kompas.com. (bbn)