REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Indonesia's trade balance in September 2018 experienced a surplus of US$0.23 billion. It was triggered by a non-oil and gas sector surplus of $1.30 billion despite a deficit in the sector of $1.07 billion.
"Although the oil and gas sector is experiencing a deficit, it is in surplus, so our trade balance records a surplus of $0.23 billion," Deputy for Distribution and Services Statistics, Central Bureau of Statistics Yunita Rusanti stated here on Monday.
Rusanti explained that Indonesia's export value in September 2018 had reached $14.83 billion, down 6.58 percent as compared to the exports recorded in August 2018. Compared to the same period last year, the figure increased 1.70 percent.
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Indonesia's import value in September 2018 reached $14.60 billion, down 13.18 percent compared to August 2018. Conversely, when compared to September 2017, it rose by 14.18 percent.
"Hence, despite the numbers being small, the condition is surplus. Hopefully, in future, it will remain in surplus," Rusanti stated.
In the meantime, Indonesia's trade balance recorded a deficit of $1.02 billion in August 2018, reducing from $2.01 billion the month earlier.
"The gains come amid a non-oil and gas trade surplus. Cumulatively, during the January-August 2018 period, Indonesia's trade deficit stood at $4.09 billion," Agusman, Bank Indonesia (BI) executive director for communications, noted in a statement received last month.
The non-oil and gas trade balance recorded a $0.64 billion surplus in August 2018, reversing the $0.78 billion deficit posted the month earlier. The surplus was achieved after non-oil and gas imports declined $1.84 billion month-to-month (mtm), primarily in the form of machinery and mechanical appliances, iron and steel, vehicles and components, organic chemicals, as well as plastics and articles of plastic.
On the other hand, non-oil and gas exports fell $0.43 billion mtm, triggered by shipments of mineral fuel, metal ore, crust and dust, rubber and articles of rubber, paper/cardboard, and various chemical products. Cumulatively, during the January-August 2018 period, the non-oil and gas trade balance recorded a surplus of $4.27 billion.
Meanwhile, the oil and gas trade deficit increased on rising oil and gas imports. The oil and gas trade deficit stood at $1.66 billion in August 2018, up from $1.23 billion in July 2018. Such developments were explained by a $0.39 billion mtm surge in oil and gas imports, primarily driven by crude oil, coupled with a $0.05 billion mtm drop in oil and gas exports, led by consignments of oil products and gas.
Hence, cumulatively, during the January-August 2018 period, Indonesia's oil and gas trade balance experienced an $8.36 billion deficit, deteriorating from $5.40 billion in the same period a year earlier. BI considers the current trade deficit congruent with solid domestic economic activities, particularly production and investment activities.
Moving forward, the trade balance is expected to improve owing to policy consistency from BI along with various government measures to boost exports and control imports.