POLL-Indonesia’s trade surplus expected to narrow in March

Open survey data

March exports saw +23.8% year on year, compared to +34.1% in February

March imports saw +18.3% year on year, compared to +25.4% in February

Trade surplus of $2.89 billion in March, compared to $3.82 billion in February

Trade data expected at 04:00 GMT on Monday, April 18

JAKARTA, April 14 (Reuters)Indonesia likely recorded a smaller trade surplus in March as the growth rate of imports and exports slowed from the previous month, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday.

The median forecast from 11 economists in the poll was that Southeast Asia’s largest economy would post a trade surplus of $2.89 billion in March, down from $3.82 billion in February.

Indonesia had recorded monthly trade surpluses since May 2020, enjoying an export boom due to rising commodity prices and growth outpacing imports.

The survey predicts that March exports grew at an annual rate of 23.8%, compared to 34.1% a month earlier. Imports rose 18.3%, slowing from 25.4% growth in February.

Josua Pardede, an economist at Bank Permata, said the reduction in the surplus was due to the resumption of imports as economic activity recovered and higher energy imports.

“Oil and gas imports tend to increase one or two months before the (Ramadan) holiday,” he said, noting that a sharp rise in global oil prices is also expected to increase the cost of imports. of energy.

The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began in April and tens of millions of Indonesians are expected to travel to their home towns and villages for the Eid al-Fitr holiday in early May.

March trade data will be released on Monday.

(Polling by Swathi Nair in Bangalore; Writing by Stefanno Sulaiman; Editing by Ed Davies)

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