Jakarta. Indonesia posted a $670 million trade deficit in January as increased exports were offset by higher imports of raw materials by manufacturers, the Central Statistics Agency, or BPS, reported on Thursday (15/02).
The deficit is the highest since April 2014, having increased from December's $220 million deficit, which was revised down from $270 million. Indonesia only posted trade deficits in July and December last year.
Exports increased 7.86 percent year on year in January to $14.46 billion, compared with 6.93 percent year on year in December, thanks to mining and manufactured goods. This figure however, is down 2.81 percent from December.
According to BPS head Suhariyanto, prices of some commodities, such as copra and palm kernel oil, have declined, undermining export gains from rising coal and nickel prices.
Imports jumped 26.44 percent year on year in January to $15.13 billion, compared with 17.83 percent year on year in December, due to purchases of electrical and mechanical machinery. This figure is 0.26 percent higher than in December.
The imports of raw materials increased 2.34 percent in January, compared with a month earlier, while imports of consumer and capital goods declined by 1.46 percent and 7.39 percent, respectively.
However, the imports of consumer goods, capital goods and raw materials showed double-digit growth on an annual basis, at 32.98 percent, 30.9 percent and 24.76 percent, respectively.
Indonesia had its biggest trade deficits with China ($1.83 billion), Thailand ($211.4 million) and Australia ($178.2 million).