Wed, 04 Jun 2008
From: The Jakarta Post
By The Jakarta Post , Jakarta
Total exports in April dropped by 7.78 percent from the previous month, due to a combination of declining crude oil and gas exports and lower crude palm oil prices, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) said Monday.

Ali Rosidi, BPS deputy chairman for distribution and services statistics, said exports in April fell to US$10.97 billion from $11.89 billion in March.

Oil and gas exports fell by 10.11 percent, from $2.76 billion in March to $2.48 billion in April.

Non-oil and gas exports fell by 7.08 percent from $9.14 billion in March to $8.49 billion in April.

"On the one hand, the volume of oil production has decreased, and on the other hand, local consumption has increased. This led to a reduction in the volume of exports," Ali said.

"For gas, the fall in exports was mainly because of the rising demand in the local market."

Ali said exports of gas had decreased by 17.12 percent to $0.95 billion in April from $1.15 billion in the previous month.

As for the non-oil and gas sector, Ali said the decline in exports of edible oil, consisting almost entirely of crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivatives, was the largest contributor to the drop.

"The exports of CPO dropped from March by around 62 percent to $0.69 billion in April," Ali said.

He attributed the fall to the lower CPO prices and the export tax on CPO imposed by the government.

"The new export tax of 20 percent could have discouraged producers from exporting CPO," he said.

The tax on CPO was previously 10 percent.

The main destinations in April for non-oil and gas exports were Japan with a total value of $1.12 billion, the United States with $1.01 billion and Singapore with $937 million. The three accounted for 36.12 percent of the country's total exports.

According to the BPS, Japan has been the main importer of Indonesian products since January.

Indonesia's imports in April reached $11.50 billion, a 14.86 percent rise from the previous month.

Mechanic jets and jet machines accounted for the biggest proportion of non-oil and gas imports, at a value of $1.54 billion, followed by electronic products ($1.32 billion) and iron and steel products ($725 million).

Despite the drop in exports in April, Ali said total exports in the first four months of year were 29.31 percent higher than in the same period in 2007.

Total exports between January and April reached $44.61 billion this year, up from $34.49 billion in the same period last year. (dia)



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