JAKARTA : Indonesia's exports likely stayed elevated in September, supported by high commodity prices, but the resource-rich country's trade surplus was seen narrowing due to rising imports, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.
Southeast Asia's largest economy booked its all-time biggest trade surplus in August of US$4.7 billion, with exports also at a record high as shipments of its top commodities such as coal, palm oil and natural gas surged.
In September, exports were seen growing 51.6per cent on a yearly basis, slower than August's 64.1per cent jump, according to the median forecast of 17 economists in the poll. Imports likely rose 50per cent, compared with August's 55.3per cent.
The September trade surplus was expected at US$3.8 billion.
Analysts at Nomura, whose forecast of a US$4.3 billion trade surplus for September was above the median consensus, said Indonesia's exports likely remained strong, driven by high commodity prices, particularly coal.
"However, import growth also likely picked up, reflecting higher crude oil prices and the relaxation of social-activity restrictions, which is consistent with the improvement in the manufacturing PMI in September," they wrote in a research note.
Indonesia's manufacturing activities expanded for the first time in three months in September, the PMI survey showed. The country began to gradually relax its COVID-19 containment measures since late August after daily number of infections declined.
(Polling by Shaloo Shrivastava, Md Manzer Hussain, Devayani Sathyan in Bengaluru; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo in Jakarta; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)