The Jakarta Post
Indonesia recorded a trade balance surplus of US$540 million in March, marking the second straight month that the country recorded a trade balance surplus this year, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Monday.
Exports increased 11.7 percent month-to-month (mtm) to $14.03 billion last month, primarily driven by an increase in non-oil and gas exports by 13 percent to US$ 12.93 billion.
The mtm increase in non-oil and gas exports were driven by a 24.2 percent increase in mineral fuel exports to $2.05 billion last month and a 110.4 percent increase in ore, slag and ash exports to $ 310.5 billion in the same period.
Imports, meanwhile, increased by 10.31 percent mtm to $ 13.49 billion in March, driven by a 12.24 percent increase in non-oil and gas imports. When compared to the same month last year, which had seen imports decline 6.76 percent.
Increases in imports were recorded across various types of goods. Raw materials and auxiliary goods, which hold the largest share of imported goods, increased by 12.34 percent mtm, while capital goods and consumer goods increased 0.47 percent and 13.49 percent, respectively.
BPS head Suhariyanto said 2019 would be a challenging year because various projections by global institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had shown a slowdown in global gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
“The situation in the global economy in 2019 will be not easy as many of our main export destinations will experience a slowdown, while commodity prices are also still fluctuating,” said Suhariyanto in Jakarta on Monday.
China, the United States and Japan remain the three-largest export destinations for Indonesia, grabbing 34.53 percent market share last month.
Meanwhile, the top three importers to Indonesia were also largely unchanged as China, Japan and Thailand imported goods totaling $16.81 billion in March. (bbn)