Indonesia’s February trade surplus seen widening to $2.32 billion

By Thomson Reuters Mar 14, 2024 | 12:31 AM

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s February trade surplus is expected to have widened slightly from the previous month as exports likely contracted at a slower pace, while imports rose ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday.

A median forecast from 20 economists surveyed between March 7-14 projected a $2.32 billion of trade surplus last month, compared to a $2.01 billion surplus recorded in January.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy has been recording monthly trade surpluses since more than three years, before reaching its record high in April 2022, thanks to a commodity boom.

But the surpluses have gradually narrowing down since last year due to weaker exports, as prices of its top commodities such as coal and palm oil have declined amid lower global demand.

Economists in the poll predicted exports in February were seen contracting 6.5% year-on-year, compared to an 8.06% drop in the previous month.

Meanwhile, imports were expected to had jumped 9.3% on a yearly basis, versus 0.36% in January.

Imports of goods usually pick up ahead of Ramadan, which started in March this year for the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

(Milounee Purohit and Susobhan Sarkar in Bengaluru; Writing by Stefanno Sulaiman in Jakarta; Editing by Rashmi Aich)