JAKARTA. The slow increase in imports cannot catch a boost in exports due to the rising commodity prices. Therefore, the trade balance in October 2016 recorded a surplus of US$ 1.21 billion. The value was down slightly compared to the September 2016 surplus, which reached US$1.27 billion.
Exports in October 2016 rose by 0.88% to US$ 12.68 billion compared to the previous month (mtm), while imports rose by 1.55% to US $ 11.47 billion. Head of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) Suhariyanto said, the increase in imports was driven by the imports of machinery, ships, and electrical equipment, especially mobile phones.
Based on the groups of goods utilities, the increase in the value of imports was driven by imports of capital goods 8.95% (mtm). In September 2016, imports of the group fell by 11.98% compared to August 2016.
The increase in imports was also boosted by imports of raw materials or auxiliaries of 0.59% compared to the previous month, mainly in the group of industrial raw materials, as well as in food and beverages group. Meanwhile, the imports of consumer goods fell back by 3.86%, mainly in food and beverages group, as well as in and durable consumer goods group.
Cumulatively, the imports of capital goods and raw materials from January to October 2016 still recorded a decrease by 11.8% and 8.6% (yoy), respectively. However, consumer goods imports increased by 13.75% (yoy).
Deputy of Distribution and Services Statistics at BPS Sasmito Hadi Wibowo said, imports and exports improved since last August. It shows a well-developed economic activity and is expected to continue in November and December this year. "If the condition remains stable, we will be more competitive in facing the unrecovered situation," said Sasmito.
BPS recorded exports of animal fat and vegetable oil rose high in October 2016. "Because the CPO prices started to rise," said Suhariyanto. BPS recorded that the exports of fats and vegetable oil have sharply increased in October 2016. “The CPO price started increasing,” Suhariyanto said.
The prices of other commodities, such as coal, rubber, copper, metal, aluminum, zinc, copra, rubber, and metal have also increased.
Economist at Samuel Asset Management Lana Soelistianingsih said that the increase in imports of capital goods on a monthly basis in October this year in line with the realization of the government project at the end of the year, that is usually higher.
But the performance of capital goods imports still need to be monitored, as its accumulated value cannot exceed the performance in 2015. "On year to date basis, imports of capital goods tend to slow. It is reflected on the economic slowdown," said Lana.
A slight increase in imports of raw materials or auxiliaries on a monthly basis should be monitored. A slight increase in imports of raw materials or auxiliary is indicating the increase in domestic demands, but only due to the preparation for Christmas and New Year.
By the end of the year, Lana predicted that the trade balance may have surplus. However, the surplus is projected to be lower than the last year’s that amounted to US$7.67 billion. Lana expects that the imports performance in this year will start improving. (Muhammad Farid/Translator)
Editor: Sanny Cicilia
Editor: Sanny Cicilia