Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Monday that the country recorded a trade surplus of US$230 million in September following month-to-month (mtm) deficits — $1.02 billion in August and $2.03 billion in July.
In September, both imports and exports declined.
Exports decreased 6.58 percent mtm to $14.83 billion in September, from the figure in August, which was recorded at $15.82 billion. In September, oil and gas imports decreased 25.20 percent to $2.28 billion from $3.05 billion in August.
Meanwhile, $14.60 billion imports were recorded, a decrease of 13.18 percent mtm from the figure in August. The import of goods such as rice, beef, grapes and whole meal saw significant decreases.
BPS distribution and service deputy Yunita Rusanti, however, said the trade deficit stood at $3.78 billion from January to September.
“Cumulatively, the deficit is still pretty big. Indeed, the September surplus was small, but hopefully it is a good sign for the months ahead,” she said.
Yunita said the impact of the government’s move to reduce imports could be seen in October’s trade balance, which would be announced, next month.
Among the efforts to reduce imports included the mandatory use of 20 percent biodiesel mix ( B20 ) with the hope of saving $5.9 billion in oil and gas imports and the introduction of higher import taxes on consumer goods.