Indonesia: Merchandise exports growth surges in March
Merchandise exports soared 30.5% year-on-year in March, following February’s 8.5% increase and supported by surging oil and non-energy exports. Meanwhile, merchandise imports jumped 25.7% in annual terms in March (February: +14.9% yoy).
The merchandise trade balance shrank from the previous month, however, recording a USD 1.6 billion surplus in March (February: USD 2.0 billion surplus; March 2020: USD 0.7 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend strengthened, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 24.7 billion surplus in March, compared to the USD 23.8 billion surplus in February.
Commenting on the release, Nicholas Mapa, senior economist at ING, stated:
“The substantial pickup in exports was helped along by higher commodity prices, while also benefiting from improving global trade conditions with some countries rolling out their vaccination efforts. Meanwhile, imports saw another month of expansion, boosted by base effects but also reflecting signs of improving domestic economic conditions as Indonesia pushes its own inoculation rollout. […]Indonesia’s trade surplus should help support the IDR, which has come under significant pressure in recent weeks due to financial market-related outflows. We expect Indonesia to continue to post a trade surplus in the coming months as exports will likely increase as global trade improves, which will partially offset depreciation pressure in the near term.”