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Indonesia’s Economy in Trade Figures: Why Coal and Palm Oil Dominate Exports

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In this economic overview of Indonesia’s trade, we start by determining the countries overall position in the global economy by GDP.

Then, you will learn about which commodities dominate Indonesia’s export-import markets — we list the five most imported and exported raw commodities.

You’ll find a list of regulated brokers in after these statistics, along with resources on ways to trade at the end of the page.

Overview Of Indonesia’s Economy

With yearly product exports of $197 billion, Indonesia is currently ranked the 28th largest export economy in the world.

The country boasts a positive trade balance of $17 billion after deducting annual imports of $180 billion from their total export value.

The current GDP of Indonesia is $1.04 trillion (ranked 16th in the world), with a GDP per capita of $3,894.

Indonesia’s Most Exported Commodities

Indonesia’s export volume declined by -4.47% over the last five years, falling from yearly exports of $206 billion to $197 billion.

CommodityAmount (Annually)
Oil & Mineral Fuels$42 billion
Fats & Oils$20.3 billion
Iron & Steel$5.8 billion
Precious Stones & Metals$5.6 billion
Ores$5.3 billion

Indonesia’s Other Notable Exports

  1. Coal Briquettes – $22.1 billion
  2. Palm Oil – $16.7 billion
  3. Rubber – $4.41 billion
  4. Copper Ore – $4.24 billion
  5. Stearic Acid – $3.14 billion

The top five export destinations of Indonesia are China ($28.1 billion), The United States ($19.7 billion), Japan ($20.4 billion), India ($14.5 billion), and Singapore ($14.4 billion).

Did you know? Indonesia is the 2nd largest exporter of fake hair. China exports $2.72 billion of fake hair each year, followed by Indonesia with $382 million of exports, which equates to an 11% market share. They are followed by the United States who is the 3rd largest exporter with a 2.3% share.

Indonesia’s Most Imported Commodities

Indonesia’s import volumes fell by $6 billion in the last five years from $186 billion to $180 billion.

CommodityAmount (Annually)
Oil & Mineral Fuels$31.6 billion
Iron & Steel$10.2 billion
Animal Feeds$3.1 billion
Cotton$2.4 billion
Precious Stones & Metals$2.3 billion

Indonesia’s Other Notable Imports

  1. Vehicle Parts – $3.83 billion
  2. Telephones – $3.33 billion
  3. Broadcasting Equipment – $2.6 billion
  4. Cars – $2.25 billion
  5. Wheat – $2.18 billion

Indonesia’s Most Traded Commodities In The World Economy

Here are a handful of summaries about how India’s most traded commodities take stance in the global economy.

Palm Oil

Indonesia is the leading exporter of palm oil with a 53.1% market share of an annual export market worth $31.4 billion.

Malaysia is their nearest rival with a 29.6% market share, followed by the Netherlands at 3.18%.

The country’s palm oil plantations span some six million hectares and this figure is increasing due to plans to add about four million hectares for biofuel production.

Coal Briquettes

Coal briquettes account for 11.2% of the country’s total exports and their annual output of $22.1 billion makes them the 2nd largest exporter in the world with a 15.6% market share.

Other market-leaders like Australia are responsible for 40.3% of the export market, while Russia for 13.3%.

Indonesia exports coal briquettes to numerous different countries, although key destinations are China, Japan, and the United States, which take a combined 34.6% of their output.

Petroleum Gas

Indonesia is the 8th largest exporter of petroleum gas in the world and has a 3.62% share of an annual export market worth $299 billion.

Prior to coal, oil and gas used to be the foundation of Indonesia’s economy. Indonesia’s oil and gas export volumes remained relatively consistent between 3.5% to 5% for the past decade.

Copper Ore

The annual copper ore export market is worth $64.2 billion and Indonesia is the 4th largest exporter with a 6.6% market share, compared to Chile (29.1%), Peru (20.3%), and Australia (7.1%).

Indonesia has the Grasberg Mine, which is located in the province of Papua. It’s the largest gold mine in the world, as well as the 2nd largest copper mine.


Indonesia is one of the biggest gold producing countries, though they only export 0.68% ($2.06 billion) worth of the global market. The gold export market is dominated by Switzerland who exports 20.9% of the world’s gold.

The mine is majority-owned by an American company called Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc (their stocks trade on the NYSE).

However, it has suffered disturbed production rates due to local disputes and disruptions, which is why Indonesia’s gold production has not been as high.

Interesting Facts About Indonesia

  • Indonesia has the largest percentage of citizens under the age of 30 (165 million) in the world and only 8% of the population is aged over 60 years
  • It is the 4th largest country in the world with 0ver 270 million people living there according to World Bank figures
  • There are more than 700 languages and dialects spoken across Indonesia

All figures based on 2018 OEC/IMF and GlobalEdge.msu.edu trade data unless stated otherwise.

Where Can I Trade Commodities?

India’s most exported and imported commodities can be found in various forms with one of these regulated brokers in .

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Further Reading & Resources

Indonesia’s commodities can be traded and speculated on through different financial instruments. We have detailed guides on CFD and options trading, bullion dealers, and choosing an online stock broker.

To learn about specific commodity groups, explore these guides:

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