FILE PHOTO: Ships load and unload cargo at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia. REUTERS pic

JAKARTA: Indonesia posted a trade surplus for a third straight month in October, the statistics bureau said on Wednesday, as improved demand for commodities underpinned exports from Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

The trade surplus in October was US$0.9 billion, the bureau said. The surplus was supported by larger commodities shipments such as coal and metal, as well as manufactured goods.

Demand from China continued to support Indonesian export, the bureau said.

The surplus, however, shrunk from September’s surplus of US$1.76 billion.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a US$1.63 billion surplus for the month.

Exports rose 18.39 per cent in October on an annual basis, compared with a 16.59 per cent increase forecast in the poll.

October exports were worth US$15.09 billion. Meanwhile, imports jumped by 23.33 per cent to US$14.19 billion, picking up pace from a 13.13 per cent rise in the previous month and compared to a forecast of 16 per cent growth.

The rise in imports was due to purchases of raw materials for industrial use. — REUTERS

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