Highlight of August’s Trade Balance

August’s trade balance posted a deficit of USD1.02 billion. August’s trade deficit was lower than July’s trade deficit of USD2.01 billion. From January to August 2018, on the cumulative basis, the trade balance deficit was USD4.09 billion.

Based on the sector, the trade deficit was attributable to the oil and gas (migas) deficit of USD1.66 billion and the non-oil and gas (non-migas) surplus of USD640 million. The deficit in the migas was attributable to the jump of 0.39 billion (m-m) in migas imports, crude imports in particular. On the other side, the migas exports declined by USD0.05 billion (m-m).

The non-migas trade surplus was driven by the decline of USD1.84 billion (m-m) in non-migas imports, particularly the decline in aircraft and mechanic aircrafts imports, and iron and steel imports. On the other side, the sliding mineral, latex, and paper exports were the logical takeaway for the decrease of USD0.43 billion m-m in the non-migas exports.


Anomaly in August’s Sliding Exports

The exports downturn in the migas and non-migas sectors is necessarily-to-be- digested data disclosed in August’s trade balance. The total exports in August whittled away by 2.6% m-m. The downturn was an anomaly because since 2014, August’s export consistently hiked on the monthly basis.

The decline in August’s export was likely attributable to the downturn in export volumes instead of the downturn in prices of exported goods. August’s export volumes were only 48.1 million tons, lower than 54.5 million tons in July 2018. Meanwhile, the aggregate prices average of exported goods in August inclined to USD329.1 per ton compared to June of USD298.8 per ton.

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