Indonesia's trade surplus hits record US$5.7 billion in October
15 November, 2021
Indonesia's trade surplus reached a record US$5.7 billion in October, handily beating market estimates, as exports hit an all-time high fueled by rising prices of its top commodities, such as coal, steel and palm oil, data showed on Monday.
Robust exports led Indonesia's gross domestic product growth in the third quarter, helping cushion the impact of a deadly wave of COVID-19 infections in July-August, and are seen powering the country's further economic recovery.
Indonesia has reported monthly trade surpluses for 18 months in a row on the back of the commodity price upcycle. The surpluses have helped make the rupiah one of emerging Asia's best performing currencies.
For October, a Reuters poll had forecast a surplus of US$3.87 billion, shrinking from the previous month's surplus of US$4.37 billion. The resource-rich country's previous record trade surplus was the US$4.74 billion booked in August.
Last month's exports of US$22.03 billion were up 53.35per cent on an annual basis, data from Statistics Indonesia showed, a steeper increase compared with the poll's expectation for 46.85per cent growth.
Shipments of mining products jumped more than 190per cent, driven by surging sales of coal and copper. Natural gas exports also rose more than 93per cent.
Meanwhile, imports were up 51.06per cent, reaching US$16.29 billion, compared with the poll forecast of 56.06per cent.
Economists have expected import growth to strengthen in line with Indonesia's economic recovery and further relaxation of social distancing measures.