Indonesia: Trade surplus narrows on surging imports
May 31, 2011
In April, exports grew 30.3% over the same month last year to reach USD 15.8 billion, which was above the 25.7% expansion observed in March (previously reported: +25.6% year-on-year). The April reading represents the 18th consecutive month of double-digit growth in exports, suggesting that the international appetite for Indonesian goods remains undiminished despite the slow recovery experienced in the developed economies. The expansion reflected improvement in non-oil and non-gas exports, which accelerated from a 21.9% increase in March to expand 28.8% in April. On the other hand, oil and gas exports lost pace and expanded 36.0% over the same month the previous year (March: +44.3% yoy). Meanwhile, imports advanced, rising from a 32.9% year-on-year increase in March to a 38.0% expansion in April to reach USD 14.7 billion, the highest level on record. High demand for imports mainly reflects a strengthening of the rupiah, which appreciated 0.30% against US dollar in May. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed from USD 2.2 billion in March to USD 1.1 billion in April.