Indonesia: Indonesia records first trade surplus in six months in March
May 1, 2013
In March, exports fell for the 12th consecutive month and contracted 13.0% over the same month last year, which followed the 4.3% decrease observed in February. As a result, in the 12 months up to March, exports fell 9.5% over the same period last year (February: -8.1% year-on-year).
Non-oil and gas exports, which account for a majority of Indonesian shipments, fell 12.1% in March (February: +0.9% yoy). In addition, oil and gas exports declined a steeper 16.8% (February: -23.5% yoy).
Simultaneously, imports declined 10.0% in March, which contrasted the 3.0% increase recorded in February. Consequently, in the 12 months up to March, imports added 3.8% (February: +5.7% yoy).
Meanwhile, the trade surplus reached USD 305 million in March, which contrasted market expectations of a USD 233 million shortfall, and represented the first trade surplus observed in six months. That said, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance reached a record shortfall of USD 4.5 billion, larger than the USD 3.9 billion deficit observed in February.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists anticipate exports to expand 9.8% and the trade surplus to reach USD 8.3 billion in 2013. For 2014, the panel expects exports to grow 14.5% and the trade surplus to widen to USD 10.1 billion.