Indonesia’s Nov trade surplus falls to $3.51 bln; shipments at record

  • Exports up 49.7% to $22.84 bln, vs 44% in poll
  • Imports up 52.62% to $19.33 bln, vs 37.55% in poll
  • Surplus of $3.51 bln smaller than $4.45 bln expected in poll
  • Rising imports show domestic economy is improving, analyst says

JAKARTA, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s trade surplus shrank more than expected in November, to $3.51 billion as imports jumped to a record ahead of year-end holidays, while exports also scaled an all-time high, official data showed on Wednesday.

A Reuters poll had expected a November surplus of $4.45 billion. October’s surplus was a record $5.74 billion.

The November surplus is still large for Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, which has benefited from an export boom because of an uptrend in prices of commodities.

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“Large imports indicate an improving domestic economic condition,” said Fakhrul Fulvian, chief economist of Trimegah Securities.

“The optimism for the economy caused imports to rise and we hope this trend will continue towards 2022.”

The resource-rich nation has achieved a trade surplus every month since May 2020, helping to stabilise its rupiah currency and propping up its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Imports rose 52.62% on a yearly basis in November to $19.33 billion, beating the poll estimate of 37.55% and fuelled by a surge in purchases of machinery and pharmaceutical products, as well as consumer goods and raw material for manufacturing.

Exports were up 49.70% to $22.84 billion versus a poll forecast of 44%, as shipments of oil and gas rose nearly 75% and those of mining products were up almost 147%.

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Reporting by Gayatri Suroyo and Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Tom Hogue and Clarence Fernandez

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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