Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s trade balance recorded a deficit of US$1.02 billion in August 2018, reducing from $2.01 billion the month earlier.

"The gains come amid a non-oil and gas trade surplus. Cumulatively, during the January-August 2018 period, Indonesia`s trade deficit stood at $4.09 billion," Agusman, Bank Indonesia (BI) executive director for communications, noted in a statement received here on Wednesday.

The non-oil and gas trade balance recorded a $0.64 billion surplus in August 2018, reversing the $0.78 billion deficit posted the month earlier.

The surplus was achieved after non-oil and gas imports declined $1.84 billion month-to-month (mtm), primarily in the form of machinery and mechanical appliances, iron and steel, vehicles and components, organic chemicals, as well as plastics and articles of plastic.

On the other hand, non-oil and gas exports fell $0.43 billion mtm, triggered by shipments of mineral fuel, metal ore, crust and dust, rubber and articles of rubber, paper/cardboard, and various chemical products.

Cumulatively, during the January-August 2018 period, the non-oil and gas trade balance recorded a surplus of $4.27 billion.

Meanwhile, the oil and gas trade deficit increased on rising oil and gas imports.

The oil and gas trade deficit stood at $1.66 billion in August 2018, up from $1.23 billion in July 2018.

Such developments were explained by a $0.39 billion mtm surge in oil and gas imports, primarily driven by crude oil, coupled with a $0.05 billion mtm drop in oil and gas exports, led by consignments of oil products and gas.

Hence, cumulatively, during the January-August 2018 period, Indonesia`s oil and gas trade balance experienced an $8.36 billion deficit, deteriorating from $5.40 billion in the same period a year earlier.

BI considers the current trade deficit congruent with solid domestic economic activities, particularly production and investment activities.

Moving forward, the trade balance is expected to improve owing to policy consistency from BI along with various government measures to boost exports and control imports.

Editing by Suharto

Reporter: Aziz Kurmala
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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