Indonesia August Trade Surplus Likely Widened to USD1.87 Bln

Crude Palm Oil

Jimmy Hitipeuw

JAKARTA, – Indonesia likely posted a wider trade surplus in August than in July on resilient demand for its commodities globally, economists said.

The median forecast of ten economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires was for a $1.87 billion surplus in August, slightly higher than July’s $1.36 billion.

“Export and import growth were likely to be somewhat slower as the number of working days in August was lower due to Eid Al-Fitr holidays,“ said Bank Danamon economist Anton Gunawan. The Eid-Al Fitr holiday fell on Aug. 31 and was flanked by national holidays.

“Seasonality aside, we do not expect to see a slowdown in external demand yet, as commodity demand from emerging markets likely remained resilient,“ Helmi Arman, economist at Citigroup, said.

The Southeast Asian nation is a major exporter for key global commodities such as thermal coal, crude palm oil, tin and rubber.

Bank Indonesia, however, has said the country’s current account surplus is in a downward trend and would likely post a deficit next year as import growth continues outpacing that of exports amid a robust domestic economy.

Indonesia predominantly imports raw materials and machinery used for its manufacturing industry, whose output mainly meets local consumer demand.