RI exports show record growth

Andi Haswidi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

High global demand for non-oil and gas commodities, including crude palm oil, coal and rubber, has once again helped the country's total exports reach a record growth level.

The latest data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), released Monday, shows that the country's exports from January to August reached US$64.63 billion, 17.13 percent higher than they were in the same period last year.

"The country's export growth continues to show increases, even though the margin is getting smaller," BPS chief Rusman Heriawan told reporters in Jakarta.

The latest BPS report shows that since the beginning of the year, Indonesia has seen its overall exports maintain their upward trend, despite some slight ups and downs in the oil and gas sector.

On a monthly basis, August's exports reached a total of $8.89 billion or 0.73 percent higher than July's record of $8.82 billion, which was also higher than June's figure.

More than 63 percent of increases in January-August exports were attributable to such commodities as rubber, rubber goods, mineral fuel, bronze, metal ores, fat, natural oils and paper.

The non-oil and gas exports in August reached $7.04 billion, increasing 4.08 percent on July, while the cumulative figure from January to August reached $50.31 billion, or a 17.21 percent increase on the same period in 2005

The most significant increase by percentage in August in the non-oil and gas sector was the export of metal ores, cracks and ashes, reaching a total of $184.8 million in total.

As for oil and gas, August exports dropped by 10.27 percent from $2.5 billion to $1.84 billion as the exports of crude oil decreased by 11.5 percent to $657.8 million and exports of gas declined by 12.56 percent to $908 million.

By destination, the BPS data shows that Japan remained the biggest importer of Indonesian goods up to August, at a total of $7.4 billion. The U.S. came second at $7.1 billion followed by Singapore at $5.1 billion and China at $3.48.

On imports, the total value in August reached $5.62 billion or an increase of 4.35 percent on July's $5.38 billion, while the total figure from January to August was $39.93, which is 2.56 percent higher than 2005's $38.94 billion.

The country's non-oil and gas imports in August hit $3.95 billion, increasing by 10.97 percent compared to July while its total from January to August reached $27.4 billion, decreasing 0.08 percent compared to last year.

As for oil and gas imports, the total figure for August reached $1.67 billion or decreasing 8.55 percent compared to the previous month, while the January to August total reached $12.53 billion or increasing 8.84 percent compared to 2005.

With investment yet to pick up at expected levels, Indonesia will need a considerable contribution from net-exports to drive its economic engines, in addition to domestic consumption.

At present, net-exports only make up about 8 percent of the country's gross domestic product.
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