The trade surplus of Indonesia widened in September 2017 as export growth outpaced import growth. Indonesia's Statistics Agency (BPS) announced on Monday (16/10) that the nation's trade balance showed a USD $1.76 billion surplus in September, higher than analysts' forecasts and slightly higher than the USD $1.72 billion surplus in the preceding month.
Indonesian exports grew 15.6 percent year-on-year (y/y) to USD $14.54 billion in September 2017 on the back of rising shipments of the country's key commodities, including oil & gas, coal and crude palm oil. However, Indonesia's export growth was slightly below analysts' predictions.
Meanwhile, Indonesia's imports grew 13.13 percent (y/y) to USD $12.78 billion, significantly below analysts' forecasts (who expected to see a 17.61 percent increase).
Bank Indonesia noted that Indonesia's widening trade surplus in September was supported by a decrease in the oil & gas trade deficit (outpacing the decrease in the nation's non-oil & gas trade surplus).
Cumulatively from January to September 2017, Indonesia's trade balance surplus was recorded at USD $10.87 billion, higher than the USD $6.41 billion trade surplus in the same period one year earlier.
Non-oil & gas exports, which account for 90.1 percent of Indonesia's September exports, rose 13.76 percent (y/y) to USD $13.10 billion, while oil & gas exports grew 15.6 percent (y/y) to USD $1.44 billion in the same month.
On a month-on-month (m/m) basis, however, Indonesia's imports and exports fell 4.51 percent and 5.39 percent, respectively. Suhariyanto, Head of BPS, attributed is decline to seasonal patterns.
Indonesia's key export destinations were China, Japan and the United States, while most imports into Indonesia originated from China, Japan and Thailand.
BPS also announced that it revised Indonesia's August trade data. Exports were revised to USD $15.23 billion (from the USD $15.21 billion that had been reported previously), while the nation's imports were revised to USD $13.51 billion (from $13.49 billion). These revisions did not lead to a change in the August trade surplus (USD $1.72 billion).