Indonesia Trade Balance October 2020


Indonesia: Merchandise exports contract at a steeper pace in October

November 16, 2020

Merchandise exports fell 3.3% over the same month last year in October (September: -0.8% year-on-year). October’s fall was driven by markedly lower energy exports. Meanwhile, merchandise imports slid 26.9% over the same month last year in October (September: -18.9% yoy), indicative of soft domestic demand.

As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 3.6 billion surplus in October, the highest reading in nearly a decade (September 2020: USD 2.4 billion surplus; October 2019: USD 0.1 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend improved, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 15.6 billion surplus in October, compared to the USD 12.1 billion surplus in September.

Looking to next year, both exports and imports should recover as the impact of the pandemic recedes. The recovery in imports should be sharper than that of exports due to a supportive base effect, which will push down the trade surplus and cause the current account deficit to widen. In the near term though, both exports and imports could be dampened by elevated Covid-19 infections.

Our panelists forecast that in 2021 exports will increase 5.7% and imports will rise 11.7%, with a trade surplus of USD 9.9 billion. In 2021, FocusEconomics panelists expect exports will expand 5.2%, while imports will rise 9.2%, with a trade surplus of USD 4.3 billion.


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Indonesia Trade Balance Chart

Indonesia Trade12m October 20 20 0

Note: 12-month trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of exports and imports over the last 12 months in %.
Source: Statistics Indonesia (BPS) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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