01/11/2007 (FORBES), Jakarta - Indonesia's exports declined 0.9 percent to 9.52 billion dollars in September from the previous month as higher tax on crude palm oil (CPO) reduced shipments, a government official said Thursday.
The government raised the tax on CPO exports to a maximum 10 percent from a fixed rate of 6.5 percent from September.
'CPO exports dropped 35 percent by volume and 30 percent by value in September. But for January to September, it remained the biggest growth driver,' said Rusman Heriawan, head of the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Overall imports dropped to 6.76 billion dollars from 6.85 billion in August.
The country's trade surplus reached 2.76 billion dollars in September, unchanged from the previous month.
Seven economists surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected exports to come in at 9.39-9.75 billion dollars and imports at 6.26-7.03 billion dollars. Trade surplus was projected at 2.58-3.46 billion dollars.
For the nine months, exports grew 12.9 percent to 83.02 billion dollars, while imports rose 17.4 percent to 53.67 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of 29.35 billion dollars.
Heriawan said CPO exports dropped to 618,000 tons in September from 960,000 tons in August. In value terms, CPO exports fell to 479 million dollars against 684 million.
CPO exports by value rose 45 percent to 5.94 billion dollars in the nine months from a year ago.
Non-oil and gas exports totaled 7.54 billion dollars in September, down from 7.75 billion in August, while oil and gas exports rose to 1.98 billion dollars from 1.85 billion dollars.
Data from the bureau showed electrical products topped the list of 10 biggest non-oil and gas exports in September, valued at 686.8 million dollars, up from 644 million in August.
Mineral fuels came in second, valued at 645.2 million dollars against from 591.4 million.
Rubber and rubber-based products were in third place, valued at 488 million dollars against 558 in August.
CPO exports were fourth from number one in the previous month.
The data also showed that Japan remained the biggest destination for Indonesian non-oil gas products, accounting for 1.06 billion dollars in September, up from 1.05 billion in August.
Non-oil and gas exports to the US, the second largest trading partner, increased slightly to 1.03 billion dollars from 1.02 billion.