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Indonesia has small Aug trade surplus as imports, exports fall

Monday, 1 Oct 2012 | 12:33 AM ET

JAKARTA, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Indonesian exports in August fell 24.3 percent from a year earlier, a fifth straight month of decline, while imports also fell unexpectedly, the country's statistics bureau said on Monday.

Here are Indonesia's August trade figures as reported by the bureau.

Trade, in billions of U.S. dollars:

Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Feb Jan Dec EXPORTS* 14.12 16.15 15.36 16.72 15.98 17.27 15.65 15.49 17.20 IMPORTS* 13.87 16.33 16.69 17.21 16.62 16.43 14.95 14.57 16.34 BALANCE* 0.25 -0.18 -1.33 -0.49 -0.64 0.84 0.70 0.92 0.86

Exports and imports (percentage change from a year earlier):

Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Feb Jan Dec EXPORTS* -24.30 -7.27 -16.44 -8.55 -3.46 5.51 8.54 6.07 2.19 IMPORTS* -8.02 0.75 10.71 16.09 11.65 13.40 27.26 16.02 6.14

CONTEXT

A Reuters poll before the data showed Indonesia's exports were expected to have fallen 12.3 percent in August, deeper than a 7.27 percent drop in July, due to weak demand from China and a fall in prices for the commodities that make up 70 percent of Indonesia's shipments. The poll saw a deficit of $80 million.

Trade imbalances in Southeast Asia's biggest economy have raised concerns among investors, pressuring the rupiah

to become Asia's worst performing currency this year.

The weak trade picture, plus mild inflation figures, mean Bank Indonesia is expected to keep its benchmark rate at a record low 5.75 percent for the rest of the year, economists say.

(Reporting by Rieka Rahadiana and Adriana Nina Kusuma; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

((rieka.rahadiana@thomsonreuters.com)(+6221 3199 7170)(Reuters Messaging: rieka.rahadiana.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: INDONESIA ECONOMY/TRADE