These Commodities Support the January 2023 Trade Balance Surplus

palm oil trees

Indonesia’s trade balance in January again recorded a surplus. This figure indicates that the sector managed to achieve a surplus for 33 consecutive months. Several commodities became important actors in supporting the January surplus.

The Ministry of Finance considers that Indonesia’s export performance was quite strong in January 2023, as seen from the recorded surplus of US$3.87 billion. This performance was achieved thanks to exports worth US$22.3 billion which grew 16.3 percent (year-on-year/YoY) and imports of US$18.4 billion or grew 1.27 percent (YoY).

“The main commodities that supporting the January 2023 trade balance surplus are mineral fuels, palm products, and machinery,” quoted from the Ministry of Finance’s upload on Friday (17/2/2023).

Furthermore, the Head of the Fiscal Policy Agency (BKF) of the Ministry of Finance Febrio Nathan Kacaribu explained that other commodities driving the achievement of a trade balance surplus in January 2023 were precious metals and jewelry/gems, as well as rubber and rubber goods.

According to Febrio, imports are still dominated by main commodities such as machinery and electrical equipment. However, the higher export performance allowed the surplus to be maintained.

Febrio said that the government was aware of the potential for pressure from the global economic slowdown. Price movements of Indonesia’s mainstay commodities are also a concern, because they can affect export performance.

“Even though the Manufacturing PMI for several of Indonesia’s main trading partner countries such as China are still in a contraction zone, exports are still growing high at the beginning of this year,” he said on Thursday (16/2/2023).

As previously reported, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) noted that in January 2023 the trade balance recorded a surplus of US$ 3.87 billion. This figure shows a surplus in the trade balance for 33 consecutive months.

Deputy for Production Statistics BPS Habibullah said that this surplus was contributed by exports which recorded US$ 22.31 billion, higher than imports of US$ 18.44 billion in January 2023.

Even though it recorded a surplus, this figure was far lower than in December 2022 which reached US$ 3.89 billion.

For the record, the export value in December 2022 reached US$ 23.83 billion, up 6.6% (yoy) but down 1.1% compared to November 2022 (month to month/mtm). Imports were recorded at US$ 19.94 billion, down 6.61% (yoy) but up 5.16% (mtm).