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Indonesian exports continued their slide in March, as persistent trade tensions and the international financial slowdown weighed on the country’s trade functionality. 

Outbound shipments fell 10 per cent year on year to $14.09bn in March, according to Statistics Indonesia, against a Reuters poll expecting a slightly steeper 11.eight per cent drop. Exports have now declined for 5 months in a row. 

Imports declined far more than anticipated, by six.eight per cent to $13.49bn versus analyst expectations of a three.eight per cent fall. This resulted in a surplus of $540m, edging above the surprise $330m surplus hit in February.

Excluding oil and gas, Hong Kong was each the largest supply of imports, and the biggest recipient of outbound shipments. 

The trade surplus is anticipated to assistance the Indonesian rupiah, which fell to 20-year lows at the finish of final year. “The present account deficit, which widened sharply in 2018 was one particular of the essential motives for rupiah weakness and this forced Bank Indonesia for an aggressive price hike by total 175 bps,” analysts at ING stated. “The rupiah really should advantage from narrower present account deficit this year.”

Indonesian voters will head to the polls on Wednesday in the world’s biggest single-day election. Incumbent Joko Widodo, who is looking for re-election, is observed by analysts as becoming stronger on financial troubles than his rival, Prabowo Subianto. Mr Widodo stated final month in an interview with the Monetary Occasions that his two essential issues have been “to push our exports and then also attract foreign investors to Indonesia”.