Trade Balance Indonesia Back to Surplus in August 2017
Indonesia's Statistics Bureau (BPS) said Indonesia recorded a USD $1.72 billion trade surplus in August 2017, exceeding analysts' expectations and significantly higher than the USD $0.3 billion surplus that was recorded in the same month one year earlier. In fact, it was Indonesia's biggest surplus in nearly five years (in November 2012 Indonesia recorded a USD $1.8 billion trade surplus).
The latest data also mean that Indonesia's external trade swung back into a surplus. In the preceding month, July 2017, Southeast Asia's largest economy had experienced an unexpected deficit (although it needs to be emphasized that last month's data were rather distorted - both on a year-on-year (y/y) and on a month-on-month (m/m) basis - because the Ramadan and Idul Fitri holiday fell earlier in 2017 (compared to 2016). The July deficit was the country's first trade deficit in 19 months.
Indonesia's August surplus was primarily supported by rising manufacturing and mining exports.
Based on BPS data, Indonesia's August exports rose 19.24 percent (y/y) to USD $15.21 billion, significantly exceeding analysts' forecasts. Meanwhile, Indonesia's August imports grew 8.89 percent (y/y) to USD $13.49 billion, only modestly exceeding forecasts.
Indonesia's non-oil & gas balance in August 2017 recorded a surplus of USD $2.42 billion. This growth was mainly driven by increased exports of animal fats and oils, mineral fuels, rubber and rubber goods, vehicles and automotive parts, and machinery/mechanical aircraft.
Meanwhile, Indonesia's oil & gas deficit in August 2017 rose to USD $683 million compared a USD $614 million deficit in the preceding month.
Cumulatively, Indonesia's trade balance in the January-August 2017 period shows a surplus of USD $9.11 billion.