Nonetheless, and as usual, Indonesia saw a deficit in the oil and gas balance (which rose significantly compared to one year ago as recovering economic activity implies rising imports of energy sources). However, the surplus in the non-oil & gas balance was more than enough to make up for the oil and gas deficit.

Indonesia’s total trade (imports plus exports) in September 2021 fell a bit compared to August 2021. This month-on-month decline is basically seen in all categories: oil and gas exports, oil and gas imports as well as in non-oil and gas exports and non-oil and gas imports. So, essentially, an all-round decline with all categories showing a mild drop.

What is possibly most remarkable is the decline in exports of animal and vegetable fats and oils in September 2021 (the category that includes palm oil). The value of this export category plunged USD $1.23 billion (or 30.4 percent) to USD $2.82 billion compared to the preceding month. It is not immediately clear what is behind this big decline. Global demand for palm oil seems to have remained strong in September, hence palm oil prices remained favorable. It seems that part of global demand for palm oil shifted from Indonesia to Malaysia. In Malaysia palm oil output had been limited due to COVID-19-related disruptions. In September 2021, however, a huge jump in Malaysian palm oil exports were detected.

On an annual basis, we see the continuation of trade recovery for Indonesia, with a 44.3 percent (y/y) gain in value to USD $36.8 billion in September 2021.


Read the full article in the October 2021 edition of our monthly report. This report can be ordered by sending an email to or a message to +62.882.9875.1125 (including WhatsApp).

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