"Surely, this figure is encouraging amid the current uncertain situation. However, we still need to be aware of our import composition," BPS Chief Suhariyanto stated in Jakarta on Wednesday.
In March 2020, Suhariyanto noted that the non-oil and gas trade surplus stood at $1.7 billion, while the oil and gas sector experienced a deficit of $932 million.
Thus, the trade balance during the January-March 2020 period registered a surplus of $2.62 billion, with an export value of $41.79 billion and imports, $39.17 billion.
"Hence, during the period from January to March 2020, we still have a surplus of $2.62 billion. This position is still far better as compared to the corresponding period last year wherein a deficit of $62.8 million was experienced," Suhariyanto noted.
Suhariyanto drew importance to the need to be heedful of imports since during the January-March 2020 period, raw material imports had plunged 2.82 percent and imports of capital goods had plummeted by 13.07 percent that was likely to impact the industrial, trade, and investment sectors.
Indonesia registered a trade surplus with several countries in the first quarter of 2020, specifically $3 billion with the United States and $500 million with India and the Netherlands.
Indonesia recorded a trade deficit with several countries: $562 million with Australia, $892 million with Thailand, and $2.9 billion with China.
"A record deficit with China in the first quarter of 2020 was much smaller than same period in 2019 wherein the deficit stood at $5.18 billion," Suhariyanto remarked.
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