It is not only a major improvement from the USD $1.07 billion trade deficit in the same month one year earlier, but also a major improvement from the USD $1.39 billion deficit posted in November 2019 (which had been Indonesia’s largest trade gap in seven months).

The reason why Indonesia posted a better-than-expected trade balance in December 2019 was because exports were much stronger than analysts had predicted (in fact, analysts had been expecting a drop). And while exports of non-oil & gas products picked up (especially agricultural and manufacturing items), imports of raw materials as well as capital goods fell. BPS Chairman Suhariyanto stated that an increase in prices of several commodities including crude palm oil (CPO) managed to boost the county’s exports in December 2019.

Read the full article in our January 2020 edition