Indonesia exports, imports grow in October, their best month since 2014

A port worker watches as a ship leaves the New Priok Container Terminal 1 in North Jakarta.
A port worker watches as a ship leaves the New Priok Container Terminal 1 in North Jakarta.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's exports and imports both increased in October after months of deterioration from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said on Tuesday (Nov 15).

A Reuters poll had forecast growth for both exports and imports, following a long period in which both shrank on an annual basis.

The bureau said Indonesia exported US$12.68 billion of products in October, up 4.6 per cent from a year ago, versus the 4.29 per cent growth expected in the poll. October's pace of growth was the strongest since August 2014.

Imports were US$11.47 billion, up for the first time in 25 months, by 3.27 per cent, and also the strongest since August 2014. The poll had forecast an increase of 4.9 per cent.

October's trade surplus was US$1.21 billion, slightly smaller than September's revised US$1.27 billion.

Low commodity prices have hurt Indonesia's export earnings for years, in turn affecting everything from company profits, government revenue and people's purchasing power.

Suhariyanto, the head of the statistics bureau, said the recent rise in prices of some of Indonesia's main commodities helped exports to recover.