Indonesia’s Exports Slowed in January After Coal Exports Halted

The Indonesian Bureau of Statistics announced today that exports in January increased by 25.31% year-on-year. This is lower than the forecast of 33.86%.

Exports in January slowed down significantly. The total value of exports amounted to $1.916 billion. In contrast, the value of imports increased by 36.77% to $18.23 billion.

Indonesia recorded a trade surplus of about $930 million in January as imports grew at a slower pace than expected.

Indonesia’s exports slowed more than expected in January after Indonesia, the world’s largest coal exporter, banned coal exports. This has led major importers of Indonesian coal such as Japan, South Korea and the Philippines to pressure Indonesian authorities to resume exports. The coal export ban has also led to further increases in the price of coal this year.

Indonesia suspended all coal exports on January 1, due to non-compliance of domestic coal mining companies with the law. This has caused the domestic coal inventory to shrink to a minimum, risking nationwide power outages. However, coal exports were gradually resumed as of January 10, while exports from mines that do not meet domestic requirements continued to be banned.

Indonesia has recorded a monthly trade surplus since May 2020, benefiting from an upward trend in commodity prices. With many countries lifting measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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