Indonesia: Exports decline again in March, but trade surplus widens amid slumping imports
April 15, 2015
Exports contracted 9.8% in March over the same month of last year, which was less pronounced than the 16.8% decline observed in February. March’s result marked the sixth consecutive loss. Non-oil and gas exports, which account for the majority of Indonesian shipments, dropped 6.6% in March (February: -12.5% year-on-year). Similarly, oil and gas exports contracted 24.7% (February: -35.8% yoy). Meanwhile, imports fell 13.4% in March, which followed the 16.5% contraction in January.
The trade balance widened from a USD 663 million surplus in February to a USD 1.1 billion surplus in March, surpassing the billion-dollar mark for the first time since December 2013. This result was much larger than the USD 669 million surplus recorded in the same month of 2014 and nearly doubled the USD 582 million surplus the market had expected. Meanwhile, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance narrowed from a USD 0.9 billion deficit in February to a USD 0.4 billion deficit in March.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist