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The Indonesia Trade Balance Remains A Surplus

World Trade

Open Eyes Opinion {source: IDgov}


Jakarta,  March 2015 – In the midst of the weakening of the rupiah exchange value, the trade balance in February 2015 remains a surplus.

The Indonesian Minister of Trade, Rachmat Gobel, stated that he remained optimistic that the trade performance surplus can drive the correction of the trade performance in the future.

The Trade Minister explained that the export total for the month of February 2015 reached USD
12.3 billion (down 16.0% YoY) while imports reached USD 11.6 billion (down 16.2% YoY).
Therefore, a USD 738.3 million was achieved.

“The trade balance in February 2015 was a surplus amid the weakening of the rupiah against the United States Dollar (USD),” asserted the Minister of Trade, Rachmat Gobel, at a press conference held today, Tuesday (17/3), at the Ministry of Trade Office, Jakarta.

The trade surplus in February 2015 was driven by the non-oil and gas trade balance in February
2015, which was a USD 564.2 million surplus and the USD 174.1 million oil and gas trade balance
surplus. Although non-oil and gas exports declined in January-February 2015, exports to several countries strengthened.

In early 2015, non-oil and gas exports to Switzerland, Pakistan, and Taiwan rose significantly. Exports also increased to main trade partner country such as India, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Nevertheless, a weakening of exports to some destination countries also occurred, which was not only experienced by Indonesia during that period but also by several main trade partner countries such as Brazil (down 19.3%) and India (down 13%).

The trade partner country whose trade balance with Indonesia contributed most to the surplus in
February 2015 included India, the US, the Netherlands, the Philippines, and Switzerland. These five
trade partner countries contributed USD 2.0 billion to the surplus. Meanwhile, China, Thailand,
Brazil, Australia, and Canada contributed most to causing a non-oil and gas deficit amounting to
USD 4.7 billion.

January-February 2015 Export Performance

In February 2015, the total export value reached USD 12.3 billion, down 8% compared to the
previous month. Although the non-oil and gas export performance experienced a decline during
January-February 2015, exports to several countries experienced an increase such as to
Switzerland, which increased more than forty fold, Pakistan up 47.7% YoY, Taiwan (17.9%), India
(17.6%), Saudi Arabia (15.6%), Vietnam (6.4%), and Malaysia (5.7%).

So far in 2015, the US is Indonesia’s largest non-oil and gas export destination country with a
market share of almost 10% from the total exports of non-oil and gas in January-February 2015.
This achievement is supported by Indonesia’s achievement of becoming the market leader of
shrimp exports in the US with a 23% market share surpassing India, Ecuador, Vietnam, Thailand,
and Malaysia.

According to Rachmat Gobel, though many commodities in the oil and gas, mining, and industrial
sector experienced a decline, exports in the agricultural sector is increasing in January-February
2015. Exports from the agricultural sector in January-February 2015 shows an increase of 2.4% YoY
to USD 0.9 billion. Agricultural sector goods that increased significantly include coffee, tea, and
spices (up 41.9%), vegetables materials (up 84.1%), and live trees and cut flowers (up 16.0%). “The
Agricultural sector remains a main export amid the weakening of exports in other sectors,”
explained the Trade Minister.

January-February 2015 Import Performance

Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel explained that the import performance also experienced a decline.
In February 2015, the total import value reached USD 11.6 billion, down 16.2% compared to the
same period of the previous year during which it was recorded at USD 13.8 billion.

“Cumulatively, the import total up until February reached USD 24.2 billion or down 15.8% YoY,
comprising imports of oil and gas amounting to USD 3.8 billion (down 45.3%) and non-oil and gas
imports amounting to USD 20.3 billion (down 6.3%),” explained Rachmat Gobel.

The import structure in January-February 2015 was still dominated by raw/auxiliary material with
76.1% (down 15.9% YoY). Some raw/auxiliary materials whose import value experienced a decline
included organic chemicals, articles of iron or steel, and plastics and articles thereof.

The import share for capital goods experienced a decrease to 17.3%. The capital goods whose
imports experienced a decline included electrical machinery/equipment, machinery/mechanical
appliances, and also vehicle and parts.

The import share for consumer goods was recorded at 6.7%, with its value experiencing a 14.6% decline (YoY). Consumer goods whose imports dropped significantly included meat, milk, butter, eggs, and fruits.

Based on the import country origin, most imports from trade partner countries experienced a
decline including Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea. Goods from Singapore whose imports
declined included electrical machinery/equipment, machinery/mechanical appliances, and also
plastics and articles thereof.

Goods from Malaysia whose imports declined were plastics and articles thereof, machinery/mechanical appliances, and electrical machinery/equipment.

Goods from South Korea whose imports declined included iron and steel, electrical machinery/equipment, plastics and articles thereof.

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