JAKARTA. August 2016 trade balance recorded US$ 293.6 million of surplus. However, the amount of surplus is much lower than US$ 513.6 million of surplus in July 2016. The decrease in surplus was caused by the increase in import.
Data from National Statistics Office (BPS) show that export in August 2015 increased by 32.54% to US$ 12.36 billion compared to the same period in 2016. However, the amount of export in August 2016 dropped by 0.74% compared to the same month in 2015.
Meanwhile, import in August 2016 increased by 36.84% compared to July 2016, but decreased by 0.49% compared to August 2015.
During January-August 2016, export and import amounted US$91.73 billion and US$87.35 billion, respectively. The numbers dropped by 10.61% and 9.42%, respectively compared to the same period in 2015.
During January-August 2016, manufactures, agriculture, and mining exports dropped by 4.37%, 20.69%, and 20.83%, respectively on year on year (YoY) basis.
In August 2016, imports of consumer goods, capital goods, and auxiliary raw materials increased by 60.43%, 41.23%, and 33.73%, respectively.
Deputy for Statistics, Distribution, and Services Affairs at BPS Sasmito Hadi Wibowo said that the improvement in export-import performance was driven by international trade activities that have returned to normal after Iedul Fitri in July 2016.
Number of holidays in July 2016 has decreased the number of export supplies. This has subsequently increased the prices of Indonesian export goods. According to BPS record, price aggregate of Indonesian export goods in August 2016 in average increased by 15.34% compared to July 2016.
Meanwhile, the increase in import was driven by domestic demand rise in July 2016.
Potential to decrease
Sasmito added that export and import tend to decrease in September 2016 and will increase again at the end of 2016.
He continued that the export performance this year is unlikely to book US$150.37 billion of the last year record due to lack of improvement on global economic situation.
Until August 2016, total export of Indonesia amounted to US$91.73 billion. In order to achieve the similar amount with the last year record, Indonesia has to book US$15 billion in each of the rest four months in 2016.
Economist at Samuel Asset Management Lana Soelistianingsih said that the increase in export in August 2016 was mostly driven by commodities price rise due to the trend of global crude oil price rise. The increase in crude oil price was influenced by the US dollar depreciation as an effect of sentiment of The Fed’s rate rise.
Lana mentioned that the increase in commodities price at global level was not caused by the lack of supplies from in Indonesia. “Countries that rely on commodities export like Indonesia and Brazil experienced significant currency appreciation”, Lana added.
On the other side, currently domestic enterprises are preparing to increase production ahead of the end of 2016. This has triggered the increase in import. Import also raised following the recent massive infrastructure development conducted by government.
Lana predicted that government move to relax regulations on mineral export will encourage the increase in mineral supplies from Indonesia. This may decrease the price of Indonesian mineral commodities.
Lana also expected that the surplus in 2016 trade balance will be lower than US$7.67 billion of the last year record.
Previously, BI (the Central Bank) has predicted an amount of US$150 million of surplus in August 2016 trade balance due to the high increase in export. According to BI, the increase in import indicates improvement on domestic business activities. (Transalator: Muhammad Farid)
Editor: Sanny Cicilia
Editor: Sanny Cicilia