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JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia posted a trade deficit of US$ 670 million in January of 2018, swinging from a $1.43 billion surplus in the same month last year and missing market estimates of a $0.19 billion surplus, the Statistics Indonesia reported Thursday (15/02).

It was the second straight month deficit in the trade balance, mainly due to a surge in imports. In December, Indonesia recorded trade deficit of US$270 million, swinging from surplus of $130 million in November as imports grew at faster pace than exports.

Indonesia’s export value in January 2018 reached $14.46 billion or decreased 2.81 per cent compared to December 2017 and increased 7.86 per cent compared to the same month last year.


Meanwhile, the value of Indonesian imports in January 2018 reached $15.13 billion, up 0.26 per cent from December 2017, and surged 26.44 per cent compared to January 2017. As a result, the country booked trade deficit in the month of January.

The 7.86 per cent increase of exports in January from the same month last year was slightly higher than market estimation of 7.3 percent rise. Meanwhile, the surge of imports of 26.44 per cent was higher than economists estimation of a rise of 19.3 per cent.

Indonesia’s balance of trade averaged $764.24 million from 1960 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of $4,641.92 million in December of 2006 and a record low of -$2,329.13 million in July of 2013.

The largest non-oil and gas export in January 2018 was to China valued at $1.92 billion, followed by the United States at $1.54 billion and Japan at $1.39 billion. The combined exports value to the three countries reached 36.81 per cent of Indonesia’s total exports. While exports to the EU (28 countries) amounted to $ 1.36 billion.

Non-oil and gas imports in January 2018 reached $12.99 billion, up 3.65 per cent compared to December 2017, and rose 28.08 per cent compared to January 2017.

The country’s largest non-oil and gas imports supplier during January 2018 was China, valued at $3.76 billion, or 28.94 per cent of total imports, Japan $1.37 billion (10.52 per cent) and Singapore $0.90 billion (6.91 per cent).

Meanwhile, non-oil and gas imports from ASEAN represented 19.59 per cent , while imports from the EU represented 9.93 percent of total imports.

Full Year

Indonesia recorded accumulative exports of US$168.73 billion in 2017 and imports of US$156.89 billion, resulting in trade surplus of $11.84 billion, the highest in five years.

The trade surplus in 2017 was the highest in the past five years. In 2013, Indonesia posted trade deficit of US$4.08 billion, deficit of US$2.2 billion in 2014, bounced back to surplus of US$7.67 billion in 2015 and trade surplus of US$9.53 billion and trade surplus of $8.78 billion in previous year.

Indonesia’s overall exports grew 16.22 per cent in full year 2017, while imports grew 16.66 per cent.