Indonesian exports defy pandemic downturn

Jakarta: Indonesia has posted a $US740 million ($1.1 billion) trade surplus in March, as exports and imports fell only slightly despite global trade disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, data from the statistics bureau showed.

A worker carries a sack of rice while loading a truck at a grain market in Jakarta, Indonesia.Credit:Bloomberg

Exports dropped 0.20 per cent year-on-year to $US14.09 billion, with shipments of agricultural products and some manufacturing goods still registering growth. A Reuters poll had forecast a 6.73 per cent fall.

March imports fell just 0.75 per cent to $US13.35 billion, compared with the poll's projected 7.88 per cent drop.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a $US760 million surplus.

Indonesia was slow to take measures against coronavirus but has reported 4839 cases, a relatively low number considering its population of 270 million.

As of Tuesday, 459 people had died of COVID-19.


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