Although the nation continued to record a trade surplus, Indonesia's exports and imports unexpectedly contracted in June 2017. Indonesia's Statistics Agency (BPS) announced on Monday (17/07) that exports declined 11.82 percent year-on-year (y/y) to USD $11.64 billion, while imports fell 17.21 percent (y/y) to USD $10.01 billion last month. Hence resulting in a USD $1.63 billion trade surplus in June, up from a revised USD $580 million trade surplus in the preceding month.
The contraction of Indonesia's export and import performance (on an annual basis) was not in line with analysts' forecasts. Analysts had expected to see export growth on the back of strengthening non-oil & gas exports. Bank Indonesia officials, for example, expected strong non-oil & gas exports last month. Meanwhile, BPS Head Suhariyanto attributed the June contraction to Idul Fitri holidays and restrictions for trucks on toll roads.
On a monthly basis, Indonesia's June exports and imports tumbled 18.82 percent and 27.26 percent, respectively. However, this huge drop of imports in June is normal because Indonesia imported many products ahead of the Ramadan month and Idul Fitri celebrations.
It therefore needs to be emphasized that Indonesia's trade data in June are distorted because the Idul Fitri holiday fell in late June this year, whereas last year it fell in early July.
Trade Balance Indonesia (in billion rupiah):