The Indonesian government has further reformed its decade-old fuel subsidy policy in a move to streamline - and make more structural use of - public spending. The latest change is effective from today (1 January 2015) and thus Indonesia moved a step closer to applying a market-based price mechanism. The government now uses a fixed diesel subsidy of IDR 1,000 (USD $0.08) per liter, while subsidy for low-octane gasoline is scrapped altogether (however the government will account for gasoline distribution costs outside Java, Madura and Bali).
Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 228,993 confirmed infections, 9,100 deaths (16 September 2020)
18 September 2020 (closed)
USD/IDR (14,768) -110.00 -0.74%
EUR/IDR (17,496) -11.29 -0.06%
Jakarta Composite Index (5,059.22) +20.82 +0.41%
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On one of the last trading days of 2014, Indonesia’s rupiah exchange rate is moving sideways. According to the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the currency of Southeast Asia’s largest economy had depreciated 0.04 percent against the US dollar by 11:15 am local Jakarta time. Last week, the rupiah had nearly touched IDR 13,000 per US dollar, its weakest level since the Asian Financial Crisis in the late 1990s, amid severe volatility on global currency markets triggered by bullish US dollar momentum and developments in Russia and China.
Global oil prices fell on Wednesday - with US oil declining to a new four-year low - amid expectation that the OPEC will not take significant action in response to the declining oil prices. The price of benchmark US light sweet crude or West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in January fell USD $0.40 to USD $73.69 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest price level since September 2010, while the European benchmark, Brent crude for January delivery fell USD $0.58 to USD $77.75 a barrel in London trading.
After speculation started to rise that Indonesia would perhaps not raise prices of subsidized fuels (gasoline and diesel) in November as recent declining global oil prices have managed to somewhat relieve the government’s budget deficit, Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said over the weekend that the Indonesian government is still eager to raise these prices within a couple of weeks. However, he added that the price hike will be less than IDR 3,000 (USD $0.25) per liter.
Geopolitical tensions between Israel and Palestine as well as the Malaysia Airlines Boeing that was shot down above eastern Ukraine territory yesterday (17/07) amid hostilities between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists, have had a significant impact on global markets. Global stock indices have fallen, led by indices on Wall Street, while the US dollar and prices of gold and other precious metals appreciate as investors are in search of safe havens. The higher oil prices contribute to weaker emerging currencies.
The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate had depreciated 0.20 percent to IDR 11,819 per US dollar by 15:30pm local Jakarta time based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index. This performance is in line with the performance of other emerging currencies in Asia, which all tend to weaken against today’s strengthening US dollar. One of the factors that pressures on the rupiah is the geopolitical tensions in Iraq which have resulted in a rising oil price (last week the oil price rose by 4.5 percent).
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The central bank of Indonesia expects that Indonesia’s current account deficit will decline to below the three percent of gross domestic product (GDP) mark by the end of this year supported by sharply falling global oil prices and Indonesia’s recent subsidized fuel price hike. Hendar, Deputy Governor of the central bank, said that for every USD $1 decline in global oil prices, the country’s current account deficit narrows by about USD $170 million. Indonesia’s current account deficit fell to 3.1 percent of GDP in Q3-2014 (from 4.06 percent of GDP in Q2-2014).
In the past week, the global crude oil price has increased considerably due to geopolitical tensions in Iraq which can disturb oil supplies from the Middle East. Up to the end of 2014, provided that no exceptional developments occur, the oil price is expected to range between USD $105-110 per barrel. Meanwhile, the Indonesian government announced that, despite the higher oil price putting pressure on the government’s budget balance, it will not increase prices of subsidized fuels this year.
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