Indonesia has booked another monthly deficit in October after it enjoyed a $230 million surplus in the previous month, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Thursday.
The October deficit was recorded at US$1.82 billion, the second-highest deficit this year after a five-year high deficit of $2.03 billion in July.
BPS head Suhariyanto said global price fluctuations in several commodities had affected the trade balance, where prices of copper, silver, zinc and gold had increased, whereas the price of palm kernel oil, crude palm oil (CPO) and coal decreased.
“Between January and October, there was a 9.9 percent decline [year-on-year] in CPO price due to negative campaigning in Europe as well,” he said.
Overall, exports rose 5.87 percent month-to-month (mtm) to $15.80 percent in October, but unlike in many of the previous months, the increase in oil and gas exports was far higher than that of non-oil and gas.
A sharp 49.3 percent increase in gas exports was able to offset a 9.87 percent decline in crude oil exports, leading to 15.18 percent mtm, said Suhariyanto.
On the other hand, overall imports totaled $17.62 billion, up by 20.60 pct mtm, thanks to a 26.97 percent increase mtm in oil and gas imports to $2.91 billion and a 19.42 percent increase mtm in non-oil and gas imports to $14.71 billion.
With the result, Indonesia’s year-to-date trade deficit in 2018 has amounted to $5.51 billion, with surpluses only seen in March, June and September. (bbn)