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Indonesia posts larger than expected Jan trade deficit

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Indonesia's trade gap widened sharply in January as falling metals prices weighed on exports, data from the statistics bureau showed on Monday.

[JAKARTA] Indonesia's trade gap widened sharply in January as falling metals prices weighed on exports, data from the statistics bureau showed on Monday.

South-east Asia's largest economy had a trade deficit of US$870 million in the first month of 2020, compared with a US$270 million deficit expected in a Reuters poll and a revised deficit of US$61.70 million in December.

Exports by value fell 3.71 per cent in January from a year earlier to US$13.41 billion, compared with a forecast rise of 1.19 per cent.

Volatile prices of commodities such as copper and tin last month affected Indonesian trade, Suhariyanto, head of the statistics bureau told reporters. The stoppage of nickel ore exports was also a factor, he added.

January imports totalled US$14.28 billion, down 4.78 per cent from a year earlier. The poll had expected a 5.66 per cent decline no-year.

REUTERS