(Photo: special)

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories)–Surprise in the trade balance in May 2018 that reached US$1.52 billion pushed the Rupiah and Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) to the lower level.

The trade deficit in May was lower than April 2018 reached $1.63 billion, but higher than May 2017 which surplus $ 470 million. Meanwhile, in the current year, the trade balance of January-May 2018 deficit of $2.83 billion.

The Statistics Indonesia reported the high trade deficit triggered by the significant increase in import by 28.12 percent to $17.64 billion in May 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 (YoY). Meanwhile, the export only grew 12.47 per cent to $16.12 billion. As a result, the oil and gas trade recorded deficit of $1.24 billion and non-oil and gas posted a deficit of $0.28 billion.

“Imports grew very high.Some imported goods are quite high, among others, rice from Vietnam, sugar from Thailand, and grapes from China,” said Head of Statistics Indonesia Suhariyanto on Monday (25/06).

He reported, consumer goods imports increased significantly reached $1.73 billion or grew 34.01 per cent. It was driven by increased consumption need ahead of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.

However, the highest import value was contributed by raw and auxiliary materials which reached $13.11 billion in May 2018, up 9.02 percent from the previous month. Meanwhile, imports of capital goods amounted to $2.81 billion in May 2018, up 6.63 percent from the previous month.

Based on country origin, the highest imports came from China reached $ 18.36 billion or about 27.87 percent of total imports. Followed by Japan worth US$ 7.59 billion and Thailand with $6.93 billion.

Surprise in trade deficit put a more pressure rupiah as it worsens the current account and Indonesia’s balance of payments. The country’s balance of payments recorded $3.85 billion in deficit in the first quarter of this year, much worse than $4.51 billion in the first quarter last year.

Rupiah weakened 61 points to Rp14,147 per U.S dollar at 11.57 a.m. in the spot market after the announcement of trade deficit. Rupiah also weakened 0,02 per cent in the Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate (JISDOR) to Rp14,105 per U.S dollar.

Furthermore, the trade deficit also pushed the JCI lower. JCI fell 0.13 per cent to 5,814.53 at the end of the first session trading today, although it opened with a rise of 0.49 per cent or 28.50 points at 5,850.31. In trading Friday (22/6), JCI ended down 0.01 percent or 0.52 points at the level of 5,818.81.

The transaction value was recorded at Rp3.69 trillion with a volume of 5.14 billion units of shares. The trading frequency is 224,230 times.

Throughout today’s trading, JCI was moving at the level of 5,802.36 – 5,860.17. A total of 166 stocks rose, 213 shares fell, and 208 shares stagnated from 587 shares listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange.

Email: fauzulmuna@theinsiderstories.com