Indonesia's Covid-19 figures goes above 1.9 million as May trade surplus expected at six-month high

Young dancers, wearing face masks to help curb the spread of Covid-19 preparing for a performance during the opening of Bali Arts Festival in Bali, Indonesia, Saturday, June 12, 2021. The island of Bali is currently holding a month-long annual Bali Arts Festival from June 12 until July 10. - AP

JAKARTA, June 12 (Reuters): Indonesia is expected to post its biggest trade surplus in six months of US$2.3 billion in May, with exports and imports seen surging amid high commodity prices and a global trade recovery, a Reuters poll has showed.

South-East Asia's biggest economy has recorded a trade surplus every month since May 2020 as shipments were boosted by the high commodity prices and as trade partners eased coronavirus-related restrictions, while import recovery was slower due weak domestic demand.

The surplus in April was US$2.19 billion.

Eleven economists in the poll expected exports to jump 57.49% on a yearly basis in May, outpacing the April's rise of 51.94%, while imports were seen leaping 65% in May, against the previous month's 29.93% rise.

"This high increases tend to be caused by the low base effect in the past year because last year's trading volume was very low at the beginning of the pandemic," said Josua Pardede, an economist with Bank Permata.

Josua predicted the resource-rich country will continue to post trade surpluses for some time on the back of high commodity prices.

The Covid-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 7, 465 within one day to 1, 901, 490, with the death toll adding by 164 to 52, 730, the Health Ministry said on Saturday (June 12).

According to the ministry, 5, 292 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 1, 740, 436.

The virus has spread to all the country's 34 provinces.

Specifically, within the past 24 hours, Jakarta recorded 2, 455 new cases, Central Java 915, West Java 876, Yogyakarta 436 and Riau 388.

No new cases were detected in North Sulawesi province. - Reuters

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