Indonesia records agricultural trade deficit of 2.81 billion USD hinh anh 1An agricultural quarantine officer inspects mangosteens to be exported to China. (Photo: ANTARA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia recorded a deficit of 2.81 billion USD in trade of agricultural products in January-August this year, with exports valued at 2.4 billion USD and imports touching 5.21 billion USD, according to the country’s Ministry of Trade.

The ministry’s director general of national export development, Kasan Muhri, said that many of Indonesia's agricultural products are absorbed by large countries, one of which is China. However, the export potential of a number of commodities, including fruits such as dragon fruit, swallow's nest, bananas, could be exploited further, he pointed out.

Apart from being the largest export destination country, China is also the country of origin for Indonesia’s biggest imports, he noted.

During the period, the largest shipments of Indonesian agricultural products, valued at 471 million USD, were sent to China, followed by the United States, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong (China), and Singapore, the ministry noted.

China was also Indonesia's largest agricultural importer, with a share of 19.6 percent.

Agriculture is one of the sectors that have shown positive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the ministry’s records, the exports of a number of agricultural commodities rose sharply in January-August – vegetable exports were up 68.69 percent; coconut 189.19 percent; guava, mango, and mangosteen 134.49 percent; and, nutmeg 32.17 percent.

Indonesia’s foreign trade in the first three quarters of this year totalled 220.9 billion USD, down 12.04 percent year-on-year. The country posted a trade surplus of over 13.5 percent, with exports valuing 117.2 billion USD, down 5.81 percent, while imports plunging 18.15 percent to 103.7 billion USD./.