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Trade Outlook

Trade Outlook Juni 2019 (UPDATE)
June 25, 2019 09:11 WIB

In May 2019, Indonesia posted a small trade surplus of USD 0.21 bn, a huge improvement over the USD 2.3 bn deficit in the previous month as well as the median consensus for a USD 1.38 bn deficit. The small surplus came on the back of higher monthly exports of USD 14.7 bn (+12.4% mom) and lower imports of USD 14.5 bn (-5.6% mom). However, compared to May 2018, exports were still lower (by -9.1% yoy vs the consensus of -14.5% yoy). On a yoy comparison, imports were also lower (-17.7% yoy vs the consensus of -13.9% yoy). Non oil and gas trade posted a surplus of USD 1.2 bn, while oil and gas trade remained in deficit (USD 0.9 bn). YTD, Indonesia’s trade deficit is USD 2.1 bn, or better than in the previous year (USD 2.7 bn deficit).

The higher exports were driven by both higher oil and gas exports (+50.2% mom) and higher non oil and gas exports (+10.2% mom) to USD 1.1 bn and USD 13.6 bn, respectively. The higher exports value reflects both higher trade volume (+9.0% mom, +10.9% yoy) and higher average prices (+3.1% mom, -17.9% yoy). Exporters had front-loaded some shipments ahead of the Idul Fitri festivities. By product type, the performance of Indonesia’s top non oil and gas export products were higher - including exports of mineral fuel (HS 27), animal or vegetables fats, oils & waxes (HS 15), and electrical appliances (HS 85). These three commodities are 31.3% of Jan-May’s non oil and gas exports. By destination country, the value of Indonesia’s non oil and gas exports to China, the U.S. and Japan picked up by 7.3%, 12.3%, and 12.6% mom, respectively. YTD, these three countries accounted for 35.6% of Indonesia’s non oil and gas exports.

The lower imports relect both lower oil and gas imports (-6.4% mom to USD 2.1 bn) and lower non oil and gas imports (-5.5% mom to USD 12.4 bn). Although the monthly average prices were lower (-9.0% mom, -7.7% yoy), imports volume actually posted an increase (+3.7% mom, -10.8% yoy). By product type, Indonesia’s main non oil and gas imports, such as mechanical appliances (HS 84), electrical appliances (HS 85), iron and steel (HS 72) and plastics products (HS 39) declined. By country of origin, the imports of non oil and gas products from China, Japan, and Thailand decreased by 8.2% mom, 17.6% mom, and 6.4% mom, respectively. 

 The imports of raw materials contracted by 7.8% mom (vs +14.5% mom in April) and by 1.8% mom for capital goods (vs +7.7% mom in April). Imports of consumption goods still rose (+5.6% mom), but at a slower pace than in the previous month (+27.4%). In Jan-May 2019, raw materials accounted for 74.8 percent of the total non oil and gas imports, followed by capital goods (16.2%) and consumption goods (9.0%). 

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Trade Outlook Juni 2019
June 13, 2019 10:25 WIB

Moderate economic conditions, coupled with improving consumer prices of Indonesia’s trading partners and better commodity export prices, should help exports in May to rebound. Contractions in the LEI of Indonesia’s trading partners indicate that the economies of Indonesia’s trading partners will see slowing expansion going forward. The composite LEI fell by 2.1% mom in March 2019 following a 0.6% increase in the previous month. In detail, the LEI for China, Japan and the U.S. edged down by 4.6%, 1.2%, and 0.1%, respectively. The declines in the LEI were also reflected in the sharp drop in manufacturing new orders and output, as the ongoing US-China trade dispute escalated. In regard to general prices, there was an easing in the monthly decline in the consumer price index of Indonesia’s trading partners. The indicator showing falling prices decelerated from 1.2% mom to 0.8% mom. On a positive note, the average prices of Indonesia’s major commodity exports declined at a slower pace (-1.0% mom), after falling by 4.6% mom in the previous month. This should provide support to monthly exports growth momentum, albeit remain contracting on annual comparison. Exporters had also been expected to front-load some shipments ahead of the Idul Fitri festivities.

Rising domestic demand, a weak rupiah and gains in global oil prices, send a signal of slightly higher imports. After recording 0.5% appreciation in April, the average rupiah exchange rate weakened by 1.7% mom in May. Year-to-date, the average rupiah exchange rate has still strengthened by 0.8%. On the consumer side, the monthly headline inflation rate rose by 0.68% mom in May, leading to higher annual inflation of 3.32% yoy. May’s inflation was driven by hikes in foodstuff prices (+2.02% mom), prepared foods (+0.56% mom), clothing (+0.45% mom) and transportation (+0.54% mom) as demand for goods and services rose due to Ramadan and the Idul Fitri festivities. This also drove up demand for imported goods, particularly consumer goods. Meanwhile, average prices in the global oil basket rose further by 6.4% mom. Tracking the historical imports pattern, Indonesia’s imports tend to be higher ahead of the Idul Fitri festivities. 

Against this backdrop, we expect Indonesia’s exports to reach USD 14.0 bn in May 2019, with imports reaching USD 15.4 bn. This will translate into a May 2019 trade deficit of USD 1.35 bn.

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Business Sentiment Survey Juni 2019
June 12, 2019 09:43 WIB

Ahead of the elections in April, CEOs noted an improvement in the country’s economic conditions, citing, at the corporate level, brisker growth in both corporate sales and profits. As such, our main measure of business sentiment – as captured by the Business Sentiment Index (BSI) – climbed 4.9% from 136.2 to 142.9 in our February – March 2019 survey. Furthermore, the two main components which make up the BSI both increased: the Present Situations Index (or PSI) added 5.7 percent to 131.9 while the Expectations Index (or EI) rose less sharply by 4.3 percent to 153.9.

During the reporting period, spending related to the presidential and parliamentary elections had been expected to lift the economy even though the external outlook remained uncertain as the country’s trade performance failed to impress. Against this backdrop, CEOs claimed stronger corporate performance. Most notably, CEOs cited a recovery in current sales growth (this index rose 6.2 percent to 104.5 after slumping 20.0 percent in the previous survey). And at the bottom line, CEOs also noted brisker growth in current profits (this index rose an impressive 10.2 percent to 104.8). 

Looking ahead, however, CEOs were slightly less upbeat on the prospects for their companies even though they expect economic conditions to improve further. Coupled with the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the elections, the prospects for some companies may also have been dampened by unfavorable developments on the external front, especially in view of the escalating trade wars and unexciting movements in commodity prices. In our survey, CEOs expect both sales growth and profits growth to ease (the respective indices slipped 5.1 percent to 136.3 and by 0.9 percent to 140.4).

In relation to the mounting political risks during the period, an increasing proportion of CEOs seem to have put off their capex spending plans, awaiting clarity over the results of the elections: the index measuring sentiment toward capex spending plans sank by 7.4 percent to 114.0.  On a more positive note, however, CEOs expect the country’s key economic indicators to remain stable: not only did sentiment toward the rupiah improve but inflation is expected to remain in check with CEOs also seeing room for reductions in interest rates on loans. 

In addition, CEOs were slightly more satisfied in the performance of the government. This metric, as measured by the Business Confidence in the Government Index (BCGI), rose another 3.4 percent to 155.6. All components of the BCGI posted gains. Most notably, CEOs are more upbeat on the government’s ability to enforce the law of contracts (this component of the BCGI climbed a further 15.4 percent to 128.3).  

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Forecast For Aug 2016

Exports US$ 10.40 bn
Imports US$ 10.20 bn
Trade Balance US$ 0.25 bn


Forecast for 2016

Exports US$ 148.50 bn
Imports US$ 147.20 bn
Trade Balance US$ 1.30 bn

DRI Forecast for Jan 2017

Inflation
MoM(%) 0.74
YoY(%) 3.26

SBI
End of period(% p.a) 4.75

Forecast for 2016

Inflation(%) 3.30
SBI(% p.a) 4.75