Large Ships for Export in Tanjung Priok Port - Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories)–Indonesia recorded a widening trade deficit to US$2.03 billion in July 2018, the worst since July 2013, due to soaring consumer goods imports, Central Statistics Agency reported on Wednesday (15/8).

It worsened than trade balance in the previous month that booked a surplus of US$1.74 billion.

Imports soared to US$18.27 billion in July or 31.56 percent rise from the same period last year, while export recorded US$16.24 billion (year on year). In a year to date basis, Indonesia booked US$3.08 billion in trade deficit with export reached US$104.24 billion, while export booked US$107.32 billion.

Central Statistics Agency Head Suhariyanto said that all imports sectors have increased above 50 percent on a monthly basis with the most significant was consumer goods imports that grew by 70.5 percent. The most significant imports were rice, apples from China, meat from India, and several types of medicines.

Meanwhile, raw materials imports increased 59.28 percent (month on month). The capital goods import rose 71.95 percent (month to month), especially imported engine generator and portable receiver from China.

Non-oil and gas imports in July reached US$15.66 billion or increased 71.54 percent (month to month) and increased 29.28 percent (year on year). Meanwhile, oil imports in July reached US$2.61 billion or 22 percent (month on month) and 47.09 percent (year on year).

Suhariyanto added Indonesia actually recorded decent export growth in July mostly driven by non-oil and gas exports that increased by 25.19 percent (month to month) to US$12.97 billion.

In the month on month basis, agricultural imports recorded the highest at 49.86 growth driven by coffee and seaweed commodities. However, agricultural exports fell 6.52 percent (year to date) due to falling prices on black pepper, white pepper, and fruits.

It followed by manufacturing sector export at 37.84 percent growth (month on month) due to higher prices of crude palm oil (CPO), textile & apparel, and steel.

Meanwhile, non-oil and gas export grew 6.80 percent in January-July 2018 (year on year) and mining export increased 37.43 percent. In addition, agricultural export decreased 7.50 percent in January-July 2018.

Top three export destination countries were China at US$2.19 billion, followed by Japan at US$1.59 billion, the US of US$1.56 billion, and the European Union of US$1.46 billion.