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Today's Headlines China

  • Crude Palm Oil Update Indonesia: Outlook CPO Export Not too Great

    Crude Palm Oil Update Indonesia: Outlook CPO Export Not too Great

    The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) believes that it is difficult for Indonesia to achieve the government’s target of collecting USD $36 billion by 2019 through crude palm oil (CPO) exports as several government policies disturb the performance of CPO exports. Moreover, global commodity prices (including palm oil) are still showing a downward trend - hence limiting foreign exchange earnings - as global economic growth remains sluggish. Economic growth of China, a major CPO importer, is expected to slow further this year.

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  • Weak Growth & Indonesia’s Export Ban Curb China’s Nickel Ore Imports

    Weak Growth & Indonesia’s Export Ban Curb China’s Nickel Ore Imports

    Official data show that in 2014 China, the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals, imported the lowest amount of nickel ore since 2010. Apart from slowing economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy (China’s economic expansion having eased to 7.4 percent year-on-year in 2014), falling nickel ore imports are also caused by Indonesia’s ban on exports of unprocessed minerals (implemented in January 2014) and monsoon rains in the Philippines (limiting production and seaborne trade).

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  • Challenges to the Indonesian Economy: Global Oil Price & US Normalization

    Challenges to the Indonesian Economy: Global Oil Price & US Normalization

    Governor of Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) Agus Martowardojo said that there are two main global challenges that are being faced by Southeast Asia’s largest economy and which can impact negatively on the nation’s economy. These challenges are the low global oil prices (which have fallen below USD $50 per barrel) and the monetary policy normalization of the US Federal Reserve amid the structural economic recovery of the USA. This policy involves higher US interest rates (expected in the second half of 2015) and a bullish US dollar.

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  • Chinese Love to Eat Chocolate: Global Cocoa Demand Growing

    Chinese Love to Eat Chocolate: Global Cocoa Demand Growing

    Major chocolate producers recently warned that worldwide economic growth in combination with global population growth will result in a cocoa deficit in a few years hence prices of chocolate are estimated to rise. Especially chocolate consumption in China has risen robustly in recent years. In 2010, the population of China consumed 40,000 tons of chocolate. However, this has now risen by 75 percent to 70,000 tons. Moreover, consumption of dark chocolate, which contains a higher degree of cocoa, has grown in the USA.

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  • World Bank Alerts Indonesia on Tighter External Financing in 2015

    World Bank Alerts Indonesia on Tighter External Financing in 2015

    Despite slowing economic growth in China (the world’s second-largest economy), the World Bank forecasts higher economic growth for emerging markets in 2015 driven by a decline in global oil prices, a stronger US economy, and continued low global interest rates. The World Bank expects to see a 4.8 percent year-on-year (y/y) GDP growth rate in emerging markets this year, up from an estimated 4.4 percent (y/y) in 2014. Meanwhile, the global economy is expected to grow 3 percent (y/y) in 2015.

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  • Analysis: Impact US Monetary Tightening on the Indonesian Economy

    The Standard Chartered Bank expects the economy of Indonesia to accelerate slightly in 2015 compared to this year’s estimated performance. The bank forecasts a growth pace of 5.2 percent year-on-year (y/y) next year, up from 5.1 percent (y/y) in 2014. Standard Chartered Bank economist Eric Sugandi recently said that the Indonesian economy will be affected by two factors: the great rotation (capital outflows from emerging markets ahead of US interest rate hikes) and growth disparity (slowing growth or recession in China and Japan).

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  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) Report: Growth Forecasts Asia Revised

    In its latest report entitled ‘Growth Hesitates in Developing Asia’ (which is a supplement to the ‘Asian Development Outlook 2014 Update’), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) slightly downgraded economic growth in developing Asia to 6.1 percent (y/y) in 2014 from its September estimate of 6.2 percent (y/y). Despite slowing momentum the ADB believes that current low oil prices constitute a great opportunity for Asian countries to conduct structural reforms as many of these countries are net oil importers.

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  • Indonesia & the Global Economy; Rupiah Hit by China & Japan Data

    On Monday morning (08/12), the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate quickly plunged after the release of weak macroeconomic data from Japan and China, two important trading partners of Indonesia. Economic growth in Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, contracted 0.5 percent (quarter-to-quarter) in Q3-2014, while Chinese imports fell 6.7 percent (year-on-year) in November 2014. As a result the Indonesian rupiah had depreciated 0.54 percent to IDR 12,365 per US dollar by 11:30 am local Jakarta time, the weakest level in six years.

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  • Indonesia Signs MoU to Join Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

    Indonesia’s Finance Minister has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the context of Indonesia’s participation within the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The AIIB is a new multilateral international financial institution (initiated by China) that is to provide funds for infrastructure projects in the Asia Pacific region. This new institution is seen as a challenge to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Asian Development Bank (ADB) which are all regarded as being dominated by developed countries.

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  • Indonesia’s Steel Industry Affected by Oversupply in China

    Indonesia’s Steel Industry Affected by Oversupply in China

    Irvan Kamal Hakim, Director at Krakatau Steel (Indonesia’s largest steel manufacturer), said that the domestic steel industry is still affected by prolonged concerns about excess steel supply in China, the world's largest steel producer. Amid slowing economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy, domestic steel demand in China has declined resulting in a global oversupply of 525 million tons. Each 1 percent decline in GDP growth in China results in an additional oversupply of 24 million tons of steel.

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Latest Columns China

  • Indonesia’s Currency still above 14,000 per USD, Why a Weak Rupiah is a Problem

    Although Indonesian stocks managed to rebound, the rupiah continued to depreciate against the US dollar today (25/08). However, rupiah weakening was limited as Bank Indonesia was closely monitoring and intervening in markets to support the rupiah. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the Indonesian rupiah depreciated 0.03 percent to IDR 14,054 per US dollar. As significant further rupiah weakening is assumed to seriously undermine confidence in the rupiah, the central bank’s intervention efforts are well received by investors.

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  • Press Release Bank Indonesia: BI Rate Held at 7.50% in August 2015

    Press Release Bank Indonesia: BI Rate Held at 7.50% in August 2015

    During Bank Indonesia’s Board of Governors it was decided on 18th August 2015 to hold the BI Rate at 7.50 percent, while maintaining the Deposit Facility rate at 5.50 percent and the Lending Facility rate at 8.00 percent. The decision is consonant with efforts to control inflation within the target corridor of 4±1 percent in 2015 and 2016. In the short term, Bank Indonesia (BI) is focused on efforts to stabilize the rupiah amid uncertainty in the global economy, by optimizing monetary operations in the rupiah and the foreign exchange market.

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  • Weaker Yuan Likely to Weigh on Indonesian Businesses

    Weaker Yuan Likely to Weigh on Indonesian Businesses

    For most of this year, the financial media has held a generally positive tone. There have been some exceptions in cases like the Eurozone which is still mired in a deeply divided sovereign debt crisis. But for most of the world, 2015 has been a positive period in terms of general growth in their broad trends. So it might be easy for macro investors to assume that most markets are currently establishing themselves in the bullish direction.

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  • Rising Unemployment in Indonesia as Coal Miners Cease Production

    Rising Unemployment in Indonesia as Coal Miners Cease Production

    In the 2000s many Indonesian companies diversified their business to include coal mining (or shifting their core business to coal mining altogether) due to lucrative opportunities amid the 2000s commodities boom. However, since 2009 mining companies have had to face tough times. Especially since 2011 commodity prices have shown a declining trend and there remains little hope of a rebound on the short term as the sluggish global economic growth trend persists, particularly led by the economic slowdown in China.

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  • Indonesia 8th Largest Shareholder Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

    Indonesia 8th Largest Shareholder Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

    Indonesia is the eight-largest shareholder within the newly established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The Indonesian Finance Ministry announced earlier this week that the country will invest USD $672.1 million in the AIIB over the next five years. The AIIB is a new multilateral financial institution (initiated by China) that is to provide funds for infrastructure development projects in the Asia Pacific region. Initially, the AIIB has an authorized capital of USD $50 billion. This is expected to grow to USD $100 billion.

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  • Market Update Indonesia: Why Stocks Rose but the Rupiah Weakened?

    Market Update Indonesia: Why Stocks Rose but the Rupiah Weakened?

    In line with other Asian indices, Indonesian stocks rose on Tuesday (26/05). The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index rose 0.62 percent to 5,320.90 points. Positive sentiments did not originate from the USA as US stock markets were closed for a holiday yesterday but primarily stemmed from China where the economic planning agency announced to implement several new policies in a bid to boost the sluggish economy. The rupiah, however, depreciated 0.25 percent to IDR 13,220 per US dollar based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index.

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  • Commodity Watch: Influence Indonesian Export Ban on Nickel Price Short-Lived

    Commodity Watch: Influence Indonesia’s Export Ban on Nickel Price Short-Lived

    At the start of 2014 Indonesia introduced its long-planned export ban on raw mineral ores in a bid to strengthen the domestic economy by reducing its dependence on raw commodity exports and instead forcing miners to process their raw ores domestically before exporting is allowed. Being an important global supplier of certain ores, this new Indonesian rule (stipulated by Law No.4/2009 on Coal and Mineral Mining) has a considerable impact on global markets and prices, one of which being nickel.

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  • Obstacles in Indonesia’s Investment Climate: A Chinese Perspective

    Obstacles in Indonesia’s Investment Climate: A Chinese Perspective

    Indonesia is not the easiest place to invest for foreign investors. This is reflected by the World Bank's Doing Business 2014 index in which Indonesia ranks 120th. In a business forum, held last week in Beijing, Chinese businessmen expressed a number of matters that blocked or seriously delayed their investments in Indonesia. For Indonesia (both domestic and foreign) investment realization, particularly in infrastructure, is important as investments is considered the main driver for the country’s economic growth in 2016.

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  • Indonesia’s Reference Coal Price Hits All-Time Low in May 2015

    Indonesia’s Reference Coal Price Hits All-Time Low in May 2015

    On Monday (11/05), it was announced that the reference coal price of Indonesia declined 5.2 percent (month-on-month) to an all-time low of USD $61.08 per metric ton in May. This benchmark price, which is set by the government each month based on the average of four coal indexes (Indonesia Coal Index, Platts Index, New Castle Export Index and New Castle Global Coal Index), continued to plummet due to the coal oversupply in combination with weak global coal demand (particularly falling demand from China).

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  • Jakarta Composite Index: What is Next for Indonesian Stocks?

    Jakarta Composite Index: What is Next for Indonesian Stocks?

    Stock markets in Indonesia have been particularly volatile in recent weeks, and this has left many investors wondering about whether or not the rally that started last October is still viable and ready to continue. Last month, the MSCI Indonesia Index (which trades under the stock symbol EIDO) took a large drop - from well above the 6,500 mark to below 6,000. From a percentage perspective, a move like this can generate significant losses for those that bought into Indonesian stocks while they were still at elevated levels.

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