ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Indonesian Shipments to Japan Plunge
Indonesia’s exports to Japan, a key buyer for this nation’s commodities and energy resources, declined by 25 percent to $809 million in March, the Central Statistics Agency announced on Friday.
“This is based on the monitoring of our goods as they have entered Japanese seaports. There are 60 seaports there,” said Rusman Heriawan, head of the agency also known as the BPS.
No nationwide data for exports in March have been officially released, but as Japan ranks as the No. 1 destination for Indonesia’s non-oil and gas exports, disruption from the disasters there is feared to hurt exports in months to come, although most analysts believe the impact will be temporary. No figures were available for oil and gas, but Japan is a leading destination in that sector as well.
“Exports to Japan will slow in the second quarter … but Japan will be going through reconstruction and this will increase Indonesia’s exports to Japan, especially gas, coal and palm oil. On a national scale, the impact will be small,” Fauzi Ichsan of Standard Chartered said.
A report on Friday showed that Japanese manufacturing activity had fallen at the fastest pace in at least nine years in March. Honda and Sony are among those that have halted production after the disasters.
In February, Japan beat the United States, China and the European Union as Indonesia’s biggest customer, with total shipments valued at $1.66 billion, up from $1.21 billion in January.
Bumi Resources, the world’s biggest supplier of power station coal, has said it expects higher demand from Japan as the nation rebuilds and seeks alternative energy supplies to compensate for lost nuclear power after the tsunami struck.
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