Indonesia April trade surplus beats forecast; exports, imports fall

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JAKARTA : Indonesia’s April trade surplus came in slightly bigger than expected, even as its exports and imports plunged along with declining prices of its main commodities like palm oil, coal and nickel.

The recovery of Southeast Asia’s largest economy from the COVID-19 pandemic has been fueled by a global commodity boom, but analysts warn that declining prices mean its trade surplus would shrink and economic growth could slow.

Indonesia’s exports in April plunged 29.4 per cent on a yearly basis to $19.29 billion, more than the 18.55 per cent predicted in a Reuters poll. This marked the biggest fall since early 2009, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

However, its trade surplus was bigger than expected at $3.94 billion, compared with the poll’s estimate of $3.38 billion, amid a much bigger fall in imports.

April imports were worth $15.35 billion, down 22.32 per cent from the same month a year earlier, the sharpest drop in nearly three years.

Indonesia’s trade surplus in March was worth $2.83 billion.

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