Indonesian exporters put in a better-than-expected performance in May as the fall in outbound shipments moderated, taking the country’s trade balance back into surplus after a weak start to the year.
Exports fell 8.99 per cent year on year to $14.74bn according to Statistics Indonesia, defying expectations of a steeper 14.7 per cent fall as forecast by a poll of economists by Reuters. The figure represented an easing in the pace of Indonesia’s export slowdown, after a 13.1 per cent fall in April, the worst drop since July 2016.
Imports fell 17.71 per cent to $14.53m, more than the 12.9 per cent decline forecast.
As a result, Indonesia’s trade balance tilted narrowly into positive territory at $207.6m after the country posted a $2.29bn deficit in April.
Indonesian exporters have been hit hard by a global growth slowdown and trade ructions between the US and China which have impacted supply chains across Southeast Asia.
Monday’s data release showed total exports to key trading partners including Singapore, the EU, Japan and Australia fell by double-digit percentages in the first five months of 2019 versus the same period last year.