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Enrico Tanuwidjaja, Economist at UOB Group, assessed the latest trade balance figures in Indonesia for the month of March.

Key Quotes

“Indonesia reported another month of trade surplus of USD 743mn in March 2020 after seeing USD2.5bn (revised figure) surplus in February. Exports (-0.2% y/y) and imports (-0.8% y/y) growth contracted only slightly, despite global trade disruptions caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On the back of easing COVID-19 concerns in China, Indonesia trade with its main trading partner saw a significant increase; notably in imports which rose by USD1bn to USD3bn from February’s USD2bn.”

“Indonesia’s exports contracted by 0.2% y/y in March vs. 11.9% growth in February (revised figure), driven by the decline of oil and gas exports which down by 40.9% y/y vs. -27.9% in the same period… By sector, agriculture exports accelerated by 17.8% y/y, driven by higher exports of medicinal plants, aromatics, and spices; mining exports down by 16.0% y/y; and manufacturing exports grew by 7.4% y/y. By destination, the largest non-oil & gas export in March was to China, valued at USD2.0bn, followed by the US at USD1.6bn and Japan at USD1.1bn.”

“Indonesia’s imports contracted by 0.8% y/y in March 2020 vs. -5.6% in the previous month (revised figure). Imports levels in December was recorded at USD13.3bn, with the non-oil and gas imports amounting to USD11.7bn (March’s -1.6% y/y vs. February’s -7.9%). Meanwhile, oil and gas imports slowed to 5.6% y/y in March vs. February’s 10.0% to USD1.6bn… The import value of consumer and raw-auxiliary goods increased by 10.7% y/y and 1.7% y/y respectively. Meanwhile, the imports of capital goods contracted by 18.0%.”