Indonesia posts trade surplus for first time in 5 months
It was the first trade surplus since September last year gap, as exports tumbled 11.33 percent year-on-year while imports slumped at a faster 13.98 percent.
Exports tumbled 11.33 percent from a year earlier to USD 12.53 billion, worse than market consensus of a 4.5 percent fall and after a downwardly revised 4.3 percent drop in the prior month.
It was the fourth straight month of decrease in exports and the steepest annual decline since June 2017.
Sales of oil and gas products slumped by 21.75 percent to USD 1.09 billion while those of non-oil and gas tumbled by 10.19 percent to USD 11.44 billion.
Compared to the previous month, exports fell 10.03 percent, as sales oil and gas dropped by 11.85 percent while those non-oil and gas products decreased 9.85 percent.
By categories, outbound shipments went down for: animal/vegetable oils and fats (-13.27 percent); organic chemicals (-31.98 percent); mineral fuel (-14.54 percent); ore, metal crust and metal ash (-50.32 percent); and footwear (-29.53 percent).
By contrast, sales increased for: inorganic chemicals (28.00 percent); copper (87.88 percent); jewelery (53.03 percent); pulp (38.70 percent); and tin (39.40 percent).
Sales declined to: the US (-15.79 percent); China (-11.07 percent); Japan (-13.57 percent); Thailand (-5.52 percent); Germany (-25.82 percent); Australia (-18.47 percent); India (-4.74 percent); Italy (-38.06 percent); Taiwan (-34.23 percent); South Korea (-11.02 percent); and the Netherlands (-9.49 percent).
Meanwhile, sales to both Malaysia (16.33 percent) and Singapore (0.66 percent) increased.
Imports slumped unexpectedly by 13.98 percent from a year earlier to USD 12.20 billion in February, following an upwardlly revised 2.1 percent drop in the prior month, compared to market expectations of a 0.3 percent growth.
It marked the second straight month of yearly drop in inbound shipments and the steepest since June 2017, amid efforts from the government to reduce purchases and help manage the country's current account deficit.
Purchases of oil and gas tumbled by 30.53 percent to USD 1.55 billion while those of non-oil and gas dropped 10.89 percent to USD 10.65 billion.
Compared to the prior month, imports slumped by 18.61 percent, with purchases of non-oil and gas plunged 20.14 percent while those of oil and gas fell by 6.28 percent.
Imports went down for all categories: raw material (-21.11 percent); consumption goods (-17.43 percent); and capital goods (-7.09 percent).
Among major trading partners, imports decreased from: the US (-20.16 percent); China (-25.87 percent); Japan (-6.77 percent); South Korea (-5.40 percent); Taiwan (-34.94 percent); Singapore (-32.38 percent); Germany (-32.78 percent); the Netherlands (-15.34 percent); Malaysia (-28.52 percent); Australia (-9.87 percent), and Italy (-33.41 percent). Meantime, imports increased to India (5.29 percent); and Thailand (10.13 percent).
Considering January to February of 2019, the trade balance recorded a deficit of USD 0.83 billion, compared with a deficit of USD 0.81 billion in the same period of 2018. ■