Indonesia September Trade Balance Surplus US$1.76 Billion

Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia’s trade balance turned to a surplus of US$1.76 billion in September 2017, Statistics Indonesia has reported. In September 2017, exports reached $14.54 billion, down 4.51 percent on a monthly basis but 15.6 percent higher on an annual basis.

Non-oil and gas exports reached $13.10 billion, decreased by 6.09 percent on annual basis yet up 13.76 percent on a monthly basis. Vegetable oil is the commodity with the sharpest drop, up to 9.06 percent ($186.4 million). Against this, mineral fuel is the commodity with highest increase, at 10.66 percent ($182.8 million).

Cumulative exports during January – September reached $123.36 billion, up 17.36 percent on an annual basis. Non-oil and gas exports during the period reached $111.89 billion, rising 17.27 percent.

Based on sector, manufacturing industry exports during January-September rose 14.51 percent on an annual basis. Agricultural and mining industries also rose, 18.35 percent and 34.75 percent, respectively.

Based on market, the highest non-oil and gas exports were China at $1.89 billion, followed by US at $1.46 billion, and Japan at $1.31 billion, with the three contributing 35.57 percent of total exports during September. Exports to the European Union (28 countries) reached $1.31 billion.

Imports

Imports in September 2017 reached $12.78 billion, down 5.39 percent on a monthly basis but up 13.13 percent on an annual basis.

Non-oil and gas imports reached $10.85 billion, decreased by 5.67 percent on annual basis yet up 13.80 percent on monthly basis. Vegetables is the commodity with the highest increase, up to 51.10 percent ($44.2 million). Contrarily, machinery and aviation equipment is the commodity with the highest decline, at 5.9 percent ($113 million).

Oil and gas imports reached $1.93 billion, declining 3.79 percent on a monthly basis, yet 9.54 percent higher on an annual basis.

Cumulative exports during January – September reached $123.36 billion, up 17.36 percent on an annual basis. Non-oil and gas exports during the period reached $111.89 billion, rising 17.27 percent.

Based on market, highest non-oil and gas imports was China at $24.82 billion (26.07 percent), followed by Japan at $10.9 billion (11.46 percent), as well as Thailand at $6.89 billion (7.24 percent). Meanwhile imports from ASEAN reached 20.61 percent and EU 9.43 percent.

Based on sector, imports of consumer goods, raw materials as well as capital goods during January-September rose 11.81 percent, 15.21 percent and 9.51 percent on an annual basis, respectively.

New Markets

President Joko Widodo previously urged the Ministry of Trade Affair to keep entering new non-traditional markets such as those of Africa, Eurasia, Middle East, South Asia, Turkey as well as Vietnam. Government ordered industry players to look at opportunities in these market by offering new products that suit their need.

The Government will support the logistic infrastructure by improving proper roads et cetera, as damaged tarmac can ruin raw materials and create more production costs, combined with if any, administration fees. On the other hand, traders themselves should pay attention to product quality, as buyers always look closely at specification aspects: are they suitable with what they have ordered before? Do they fit the budget and schedule?

“I ask business players to keep anticipating the shift from offline to online trade. We cannot resist the digital evolution. Instead, we should find a way to benefit from it – for example by making a virtual showroom to connect buyers and traders directly, without have to wait for an expo,” he said during Trade Expo Indonesia 2017 event.

In addition to digital economy shift, there is also lifestyle commodity changes such as coffee, cocoa as well as chocolate. As the fourth-biggest coffee and cocoa producer (0.8 million tons a year) after Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia, Indonesia should benefit from this potential market.

Currently there are 800 million new emerged middle income class consumers from around China, India, Africa, South America as well as South East Asia. They tend to spend more on commodity style.

The Government also aims for other new markets, such as Azerbaijan as well as some EU countries. On the e-commerce side, the government also appraises potential. The Indonesian online classifieds market is estimated to register a positive CAGR of over 23 percent during 2017-2021.

Increasing use of horizontal classifieds, rising demand for skilled workers, upcoming residential projects, growing demand for used cars are all expected to be key drivers for a spike in demand for online classified portals in the country.

Writing by Yosi Winosa, Email: yosi.winosa@theinsiderstories.com