The trade balance bounced back to a surplus in May following a large deficit in the previous month as a drop in exports was followed by a steeper decline in imports, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Monday.

The surplus was recorded at US$210 million last month, standing in stark contrast to the $2.29 billion deficit recorded in the previous month, the largest deficit since 2013.

Between January and May, however, the trade balance was recorded at a deficit at $2.14 billion, a slight improvement from the $2.87 billion deficit booked over the same period last year.

Exports dropped 8.99 percent year-on-year (yoy) to $14.74 billion last month, as non-oil and gas exports declined from $14.57 billion in May 2018 to $13.63 billion over the same period this year.

Imports, meanwhile, also dropped, by 17.71 percent yoy to $14.53 billion last month, as non-oil and gas imports declined from $14.8 billion in May 2018 to $12.44 billion last month.

All types of imported goods were in the red in May. Raw material and auxiliary goods imports led the yoy decline with 19.13 percent negative growth in May, followed by negative growth of capital goods imports by 15.24 percent yoy.

BPS head Suhariyanto said in Jakarta on Monday that May’s surplus was a step in the right direction following recent deficits.

“The [trade] surplus was good despite it not being ideal. [In May] exports dropped followed by a steeper decline in imports,” he said.

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