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Exports from Indonesia. Here’s what you need to know

by Samantha Greene / May 26, 2023 / 5m

In recent years, Indonesia has been named one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. After a slump in 2019 with a trade deficit of $3.20 billion, the country has risen like a phoenix and reported an account surplus of $13.2 billion in 2022.

Indonesia is enormously rich in all kinds of natural resources and exports a number of commodities that have been in high demand worldwide, thus the export boom. However, the country’s export policy is taking a turn, with several bans recently installed on some of Indonesia’s best export products.

Read this post to learn about Indonesia’s onshoring vector and how it will influence its exports.

Indonesia’s top exported products

As we mentioned above, Indonesia has all kinds of natural resources, so unsurprisingly, they constitute the biggest part of the country’s exports. Here is the list of the top 10 products that went for export from Indonesia in 2022 and their total value in US dollars:

 1.     Coal and solid fuels made from coal ($46,739 mm)

2.     Palm oil ($27,765 mm)

3.     Iron ferroalloys ($13,707 mm)

4.     Petroleum gases ($9,822 mm)

5.     Copper ores and concentrates ($9,243 mm)

6.     Lignite ($7,863 mm)

7.     Flat-rolled stainless steel sheets ($6,818 mm)

8.     Industrial fatty acids and alcohol ($6,392 mm)

9.     Nickel matte, oxide sinters ($5,962 mm)

10.  Cars ($5,545 mm)

Indonesia’s biggest importers are mainland China, the USA, and Japan, but almost three-quarters (about 75%) of Indonesian exports went to fellow Asian countries like India, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines in 2022. Only about 11% and 9% were exported to North America and Europe, respectively.

In recent years, Indonesia has been in dispute with its trading partners and the World Trade Organization (WTO) over export bans unpredictably introduced by the government. To somebody not familiar with the current state of affairs in the country, the bans might seem connected only to market price fluctuations, but it’s not entirely so. Indonesian President Joko Widodo wishes to turn the country into a fully industrialized nation by 2045, and it’s part of his plan.