In Indonesia, Batam in Riau Islands province is one of the busiest places for imports and exports. Located on the international trade route of the Malacca Strait, which is the second busiest route after the Strait of Dover in the United Kingdom, Batam is a Free Trade Zone.
On April 4, Statistics of Batam City (BPS) released data on the city’s export and import developments for the month of February through the Official Statistics News (BRS). Data found that cumulative total export between the first two months of 2022 increased by 31.91 percent from the previous year, amounting to US$2.16 billion. BPS also revealed that the increase in export value was the result of a 32.92 percent rise in cumulative exports from the non-oil and gas sector.
The cumulative non-oil and gas exports of Batam accounted for 78.18 percent of the non-oil and gas cumulative exports (January-February) of Riau Islands. In the first two months of 2022, non-oil and gas export commodities with the largest export value were machinery and electrical equipment, which was valued at $17.82 million with 47.16 percent of the contribution in Batam. The cumulative non-oil and gas exports of Batam accounted for 93.28 percent of the cumulative exports for the time period, amounting to $2.19 billion.
Data also shows that the most popular destination for exports from Batam is Singapore, which reached $446.67 million. The export to Singapore this month experienced a decrease of 2.25 percent compared to January. However, it is still an increase of 37.36 percent compared to February 2021. Other than Singapore, popular spots in February of this year for exports also listed the United States, valued at $253.81 million, a 31.16 percent increase from the previous month.
The cumulative value of exports according to the largest loading port in Batam from January to February is through Batu Ampar Port and Sekupang Port. Both of them contributed 78.29 percent of the cumulative exports for both months in Batam.
In February, the import value reached $16.84 million due to a 19.64 percent decline in non-oil and gas imports. It was thought to be caused by the largest imported commodity, which is the product of the manufacturing industry, with an import value of $797.22 million, with a share of 96.98 percent. Compared to the same period last year, the cumulative value of imports increased by 14.83 percent due to an increase in cumulative imports of industrial products worth $227.88 million.
The largest volume of imports in February came from China. While the volume was a decrease from January, it was still an increase from February 2021. This year’s February figure was $262.34 million.
The increasing export and import activity in Batam is a barometer for the recovery of the flow of demand for goods, both abroad and at home. The positive trend will continue to be maintained by the government to encourage the economic growth rate of Batam, which runs parallel with the focus of the Badan Pengusahaan (BP) Batam to encourage export activities. A number of infrastructure projects are also being developed to support the region’s economic recovery.