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Indonesia Reports 40 Consecutive Months of Trade Surplus


Jul 25, 2013
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Indonesia Reports 40 Consecutive Months of Trade Surplus​

Tanjung Priok Port, Jakarta

The Jakarta Globe

September 15, 2023 | 7:17 pm

Jakarta. Indonesia has continued its streak of trade surpluses, marking the 40th consecutive month of surplus in August, despite a narrowing trend, according to a report from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) released on Friday.

The trade surplus for August reached $3.12 billion, with total exports amounting to $21.9 billion and imports at $18.8 billion.

"Indonesia has maintained a trade surplus for 40 consecutive months," Acting BPS Head Amalia Adininggar Widyasanti said during a news conference in Jakarta.

For the first eight months of the year, the trade surplus amounted to $24.34 billion, a significant drop of $10.55 billion compared to the same period last year. The BPS attributed the decline to the ongoing downward trend in mining commodity prices

During this period, non-oil-and-gas exports declined by 12.27 percent to $161.13 billion, and oil and gas exports also decreased by 4.66 percent to $10.39 billion.

According to BPS data, China accounted for a quarter of Indonesia's export value from January to August 2023, while ASEAN countries contributed 18.78 percent.

The United States became Indonesia's third-largest export destination, accounting for 9.66 percent, followed by India (8.11 percent) and the European Union (7.01 percent).

China was the only major export destination whose share in Indonesia's exports increased compared to the previous year.

Non-oil imports for the January-August period also declined by 5.54 percent to $124.74 billion, and oil and gas imports dropped by 18.78 percent to $22.43 billion.

China remained Indonesia's largest trading partner, representing 32.65 percent of Indonesia's imports during the period. ASEAN ranked second with a 16.53 percent share, followed by Japan (8.94 percent), and the European Union (7.74 percent).

If Thailand is excluded, ASEAN’s share in Indonesian import will drop to 10.96 percent.

China slowdown? Indonesian exporters are not feeling it, yet
Despite China’s economy growing at a slower pace than expected this year, the country’s demand for Indonesian goods remains solid, though experts believe it is too soon to say whether that will last.

Statistics Indonesia (BPS) official Amalia Adininggar Widyasanti revealed that Indonesia’s non-oil and gas (NOG) exports to China amounted to US$5.38 billion in August, up 9.36 percent from July.

“Our exports to China remain solid. Granted, there is a potential Chinese economic slowdown, but in terms of demand, it’s still growing positively,” Amalia told reporters in Jakarta on Friday during the presentation of Indonesia’s latest trade data.


September 24, 2023 — 09:27 pm EDT

Written by
Sudarshan Varadhan for Reuters ->

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Indonesia's coal production is expected to start declining in 2030, Bambang Suswantono, acting director general of mineral and coal at the Ministry of Energy and Ministerial Resources told a conference on Monday.

Indonesia is targeting record coal production and exports this year.

Indonesia has done wonders. just needs to stay out of poiltics for another 10-20 years and they will have stronger foundations!

COLUMN-Asia's coal sector sees long, prosperous life despite energy transition: Russell​

September 27, 2023 — 08:00 am EDT

Written by Clyde Russell for Reuters ->

By Clyde Russell

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Asia's coal sector has gone from thinking they are in terminal decline as the world shifts to a net-zero carbon future to seeing themselves as being a part of the energy mix for decades to come, while raking in profits.

The bullish narrative was on full display at the industry's biggest gathering, the Coaltrans Asia conference held this week on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

What has changed for the coal industry is that they no longer believe that renewable energies can be deployed fast enough, cheaply enough and at sufficient scale to push fossil fuels out of Asia's energy mix.

"The reality is that coal demand will continue to increase," Septian Hario Seto, Indonesia's deputy of investment at its Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs, told the conference.

This was a common view, with delegates expressing scepticism over the pathways to net-zero emissions advocated by Western bodies such as the International Energy Agency. While thermal coal does see some threat from natural gas, the view of virtually every market participant, from miners to traders to utilities and government officials, was that coal remains the cheaper and more secure alternative.

There is also the realisation that the energy transition means very different things in various regions and countries.

It could be argued that the lesson that most European countries took from the surge in fossil fuel prices and the concern over security in supply from Russia's invasion of Ukraine was that they would accelerate the move to renewable energies.

European nations may be able to afford to take such steps and commit billions of dollars to build wind, solar and storage solutions at an accelerated pace.

The lesson in Asia seems to be the exact opposite, with the main concern being the cost of energy.

To many Asian countries, it's simply too expensive to move rapidly to renewable energies, given the huge investments needed to re-shape electricity grids to cope with variable generation from wind and solar, as well as put in place the generation capability to back up the renewable supplies, such as gas-fired peaking plants, pumped hydro and battery storage.

While solar panels and wind turbines may be relatively cheap when compared to building a coal-fired power plant, the infrastructure needed to support the renewable energies isn't, and this is the main concern of Asian countries.

There is also the view that Asia's energy demand will increase rapidly in the next few decades and meeting that will mean using all resources, including the vast deposits of coal in populous countries such as China, India and Indonesia.


The Asian model of moving to net-zero is likely to look quite different from what is being attempted in the developed world.

What they have in common is a shift to electrify as much as possible, from transport to industrial and residential heating and cooking.

But Asia seems to be content to use coal-fired power to increase its electrification, working on the view that this is a better carbon outcome than continuing to use crude oil and gas.

The appeal of coal is that notwithstanding the current high-by-historical-standards prices, it's still considerably cheaper than crude oil and gas.

Geopolitics is also a factor, and Asian energy importers are becoming increasingly wary of the influence of the OPEC+ group, and are keen to move away from dependence on a fuel whose price can be manipulated by the producing nations.

China, India and Indonesia are currently building 89% of the coal-fired power plants under construction, according to data from the Global Energy Monitor.

While all three of these countries are also expanding renewable energies, the fact that they are boosting coal shows just how differently they view the energy transition.

The aim appears to be to increase the supply of electricity from all generation sources, electrify energy demand as much as possible and then over time gradually phase out coal-fired power and replace it with cleaner alternatives.

To Asian policymakers this makes more sense, as it allows them to increase the supply of electricity at a cheaper cost than rapidly shifting to renewables, while still being able to claim they are on the path to net-zero because they are moving away from oil and gas and can deploy renewables over time.

It's likely that these arguments will be rejected by climate scientists, environmentalists and the majority of developed nation policymakers.

But this just shows the emerging gulf between how the various players view the energy transition.

For the coal market in Asia what they now see is a pathway to staying in the mix.

They expect seaborne thermal coal demand to remain strong, not only from China and India, the world's two-largest importers, but also from other countries that are planning on keeping coal for decades to come, such as Vietnam and Bangladesh.

The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters

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Good job. Would like to see the high speed railway run all the way from Jakarta to Surabaya.



Indonesia's Trade Surplus Surpasses US$3.42 billion​


Petir Garda Bhwana

17 October 2023 13:32 WIB

Illustration of non-oil and gas export-import activities. antaranews.com

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - According to Statistics Indonesia, the balance of trade surplus in Indonesia continues to September 2023, surpassing US$3.42 billion. The Executive Director of Communication Department of Bank Indonesia Erwin Haryono stated that the number is higher than the surplus in August, amounting to US$3.12 billion.

"Bank Indonesia views this development to be positive to further sustain Indonesia's economic external resilience," he said in a written statement on Tuesday, October 17, 2023.

Moving forward, Bank Indonesia will continue to strengthen the synergies with the government and other authorities to promote national economic recovery and external resilience, Erwin said.

Meanwhile, the main source of Indonesia's balance of trade surplus is the non-oil and gas sector. "The surplus for the non-oil and gas balance of trade reached US$5.34 billion, an increase from last month's US$4.46 billion," he said.

According to Erwin, the positive performance is supported by the strength of Indonesia's non-oil and gas exports, especially iron and steel, precious metal and jewelry, as well as nickel commodities.

Based on the destination state, the non-oil and gas export to China, the US, and India remains the top contributor to overall export. "Meanwhile, the non-oil and gas import remains strong along with the continued economic activities improvement," Erwin said.

On the other hand, the deficit to the oil and gas balance of trade increased to US$1.92 billion in September 2023. This number is in line with the fact that crude oil import is bigger than the increase in crude oil export.


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Indonesia’s exports fall less than expected​

Exports and imports fell less than expected leading to a bettter-than-expected trade surplus


Sudirman Central Business District in Jakarta, Indonesia







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