COVID-19 curbs seen widening Indonesia’s trade surplus in July: Reuters poll By Reuters

© Reuters. A worker stands on a container at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, January 11, 2021. Picture taken January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s trade surplus is expected to show an expansion in July after the government imposed mobility restrictions to control a spike in COVID-19 cases, squeezing exports and imports, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

Southeast Asia’s biggest economy has been enjoying an export boom on the back of high commodity prices, allowing for a trade surplus every month since May of 2020.

The median forecast of 10 analysts in the poll was for a July trade surplus of $2.27 billion, up from the previous month’s $1.32 billion.

Export growth of 30.20%, on an annual basis, was forecast.

While high commodity prices still supported shipments, the estimated increase would be the lowest since February and below the more than 50% growth rate recorded between April to June.

Imports were seen shrinking on a monthly basis, but up 52.15% annually due to a low base effect.

“We expect a wider trade surplus from the previous month as imports recede following the July lockdowns in Java,” analysts with Citi Indonesia said.

Some economists have said high commodity prices and a global economic recovery will likely allow resource-rich Indonesia to book big export earnings for the remainder of the year, but imports may take a hit as COVID-19 curbs imposed since July dampen domestic demand.

(Polling by Nilufar Rizki in Jakarta and Shaloo Shrivastava in Bengaluru; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Ed Davies)

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