Indonesia posts largest trade surplus

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    JAKARTA- Indonesia posted its biggest trade surplus in nine years in July, as exports improved while domestic demand for imports remained subdued amid the coronavirus pandemic, data from the statistics bureau showed on Tuesday.

    Southeast Asia’s largest economy reported a $3.26 billion surplus in July, the bureau said, the biggest since August, 2011, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

    The figure handily beat a forecast in a Reuters poll for a $680 million surplus and followed a $1.27 billion surplus in June.

    July exports grew 14.33 percent from June to $13.73 billion, though were 9.90 percent below the value of shipments in the same month last year. Still, the pace of contraction was slower than the poll’s prediction for a 16.65 percent drop.

    By value, exports were the highest since March. Statistics bureau chief Suhariyanto attributed this to sales of agricultural products like palm oil, herbs and birds nests, and despite weaker exports of coal, rubber and oil and gas.