Tue, 21 Sep 2010

From: The Jakarta Globe

By Eny Wulandari
Jakarta. After seeing non-oil-and-gas exports surge over the first seven months of the year, the Trade Ministry on Friday announced it was retargeting growth for the sector, placing it at between 16 and 18 percent for the year, well above February estimates of 7 to 8.5 percent.

On Friday, Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said her office was predicting non-oil-and-gas exports would total between $113 billion and $115 billion on the year. In 2009, they plunged to $97.5 billion in the wake of the global financial crisis, a 9.7 percent drop from the year before.

Mari said the new estimate was based on the realization that monthly non-oil-and-gas sector exports were averaging $10 billion in the first seven months of the year, higher than $9 billion monthly average posted in 2008.

In July, export values in the sector reached $10.6 billion, good for 29.5 percent year-on-year growth, data from the Trade Ministry and the National Statistics Agency (BPS) showed.

From January through July, the mining sector posted the largest growth - 53 percent - with exports reaching $14.9 billion. The gains were driven by rising prices of mining goods on the international market.

Rising international prices also boosted agricultural exports over the period to $2.7 billion, a 17.5 percent improvement over the same months in 2009.

Industrial exports boomed to $52.3 billion this year through July, a 34.1 percent improvement over the same span in 2008.

Still, the trade minister stressed there was no guarantee exports would keep moving at the such a healthy clip.

“We also consider possible slowing economic growth in some developing countries as a factor which will contribute to a possible decrease in the non-oil-and-gas exports during the second semester,” she said.

Just as exports are steadily rising amid the global recovery, imports are climbing as well.

In July, imports, including raw materials, capital goods and consumer goods, totaled $10.5 billion, a 53.5 percent increase over the year-earlier period. Mari said rising demand across the board spurred the strong increase.

“Improving import values for raw and supporting materials and capital goods are in response to investment, which reached 7.9 percent through the first semester of the year,” she said.

The value of imported capital goods in the non-oil-and-gas sector reached $14.8 million from January to July, a 39.9 percent gain over the year-earlier period.

Mari said 47 percent of Indonesia’s of non-oil-and-gas exports are destined for Japan, the US, China, Malaysia and Singapore. Japan and the US are typically Indonesia’s primary export targets, but exports to China have recently been on the rise.