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COVID-19 curbs seen widening Indonesia's trade surplus in July

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A worker stands on a container at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, January 11, 2021. Picture taken January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

  • reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/econ-polls?RIC=IDTRD%3DECI poll data
  • July exports seen at +30.20% y/y, vs June's +54.46%
  • July imports seen at +52.15% y/y, vs June's +60.12%
  • Trade surplus of $2.27 bln expected, vs pvs month's $1.32 bln
  • Trade data due at 0400 GMT on Wednesday, Aug. 18

JAKARTA, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Indonesia's trade surplus is expected to show an expansion in July after the government imposed mobility restrictions to control a spike in COVID-19 cases, squeezing exports and imports, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

Southeast Asia's biggest economy has been enjoying an export boom on the back of high commodity prices, allowing for a trade surplus every month since May of 2020.

The median forecast of 10 analysts in the poll was for a July trade surplus of $2.27 billion, up from the previous month's $1.32 billion.

Export growth of 30.20%, on an annual basis, was forecast.

While high commodity prices still supported shipments, the estimated increase would be the lowest since February and below the more than 50% growth rate recorded between April to June.

Imports were seen shrinking on a monthly basis, but up 52.15% annually due to a low base effect.

"We expect a wider trade surplus from the previous month as imports recede following the July lockdowns in Java," analysts with Citi Indonesia said.

Some economists have said high commodity prices and a global economic recovery will likely allow resource-rich Indonesia to book big export earnings for the remainder of the year, but imports may take a hit as COVID-19 curbs imposed since July dampen domestic demand.

Polling by Nilufar Rizki in Jakarta and Shaloo Shrivastava in Bengaluru; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Ed Davies

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