Indonesia’s Top 10 Exports

Bali fabrics

Bali fabrics

Located mostly in Southeast Asia extending to some territories in the Oceania continent across from Australia, the Republic of Indonesia shipped US$180.2 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 2.4% gain since 2014 and a 6.8% uptick from 2017 to 2018.

From a continental perspective, almost three-quarters (72%) of Indonesian exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries. Another 11.3% were sold to North American importers closely trailed by European customers at 10.6%. Smaller percentages were shipped to Africa (2.6%), Australia and other Oceania importers (2%) then Latin America (1.5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

Given Indonesia’s population of 262.8 million people, its total $180.2 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $700 for every resident in the Asian nation.

In macroeconomic terms, Indonesia’s total exported goods represent 5.2% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($3.495 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 5.2% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2018 compares to 6.7% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Indonesia’s total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that Indonesia also provided $27.9 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 0.8% of GDP in PPP.

Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Indonesia’s unemployment rate was 5.01% at March 2019 down from 5.13% as of January 2018, according to Trading Economics.

Indonesia’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Indonesian global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Indonesia.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$42 billion (23.3% of total exports)
  2. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $20.3 billion (11.3%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: $8.9 billion (4.9%)
  4. Vehicles: $7.6 billion (4.2%)
  5. Rubber, rubber articles: $6.4 billion (3.5%)
  6. Machinery including computers: $5.9 billion (3.3%)
  7. Iron, steel: $5.8 billion (3.2%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $5.6 billion (3.1%)
  9. Ores, slag, ash: $5.3 billion (2.9%)
  10. Footwear: $5.1 billion (2.8%)

Indonesia’s top 10 exports approached two-thirds (62.6%) of Indonesia’s total exports.

Up by 71.7% from 2017 to 2018, iron and steel posted the fastest growth among the top 10 export categories.

In second place for improving export sales were ores, slag and ash which in value by 39.4%.

Mineral fuels including oil generated the third-fastest gain in value via a 14% year-over-year improvement led by coal, petroleum gas, lignite and refined petroleum oils. International sales of exported vehicles from Indonesia expanded by 10.5%.

Three top product categories declined namely rubber including items made from rubber (down -17.6%), animal or vegetable fats, oils and waxes (down -11.4%) then the machinery including computers category (down -0.1%).

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Indonesia’s Most Valuable Export Products below.


The following types of Indonesian product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $10.4 billion (Up by 17.5%)
  2. Ores, slag, ash: $4.7 billion (Up by 69.9%)
  3. Footwear: $4.4 billion (Up by 0.3%)
  4. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $4.1 billion (Up by 5.2%)
  5. Rubber, rubber articles: $4 billion (Down by -30.4%)
  6. Wood: $4 billion (Up by 14.1%)
  7. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $3.7 billion (Up by 5.5%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $3.3 billion (Down by -27.1%)
  9. Fish: $3 billion (Up by 0.9%)

Indonesia has highly positive net exports in the international trade of coal and crude oil. In turn, these cashflows indicate Indonesia’s strong competitive advantages under mineral fuels-related products category.


Overall Indonesia went from an $11.4 billion trade surplus during 2017 to incur a -$8.5 billion trade deficit for 2018.

Below are exports from Indonesia that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Indonesia’s goods trail Indonesian importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Machinery including computers: -US$21.3 billion (Up by 50.7% since 2017)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$12.6 billion (Up by 58.7%)
  3. Plastics, plastic articles: -$6.6 billion (Up by 32.1%)
  4. Iron, steel: -$4.5 billion (Down by -12%)
  5. Organic chemicals: -$4 billion (Up by 50%)
  6. Cereals: -$3.7 billion (Down by -6%)
  7. Articles of iron or steel: -$2.6 billion (Up by 79.3%)
  8. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$2.3 billion (Up by 30.9%)
  9. Food industry waste, animal fodder: -$2.3 billion (Down by -3.2%)
  10. Sugar, sugar confectionery: -$1.9 billion (Down by -22.8%)

Indonesia has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for machinery, particularly computers.


Indonesian Export Companies

Nine Indonesian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Indonesian conglomerates that Forbes included:

  • Gudang Garam (Tobacco)
  • Semen Indonesia (Construction Materials)
  • Telekom Indonesia (Telecommunications services)

Wikipedia also lists exporters from Indonesia. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Astra International (financial/industrial conglomerate)
  • Bumi Resources (coal)
  • Djarum (tobacco cigarettes)
  • Dragon Computer & Communication (computer hardware)
  • Krakatau Steel (steel products)
  • MedcoEnergi (oil, gas)
  • Pertamina (oil, natural gas)
  • United Tractors (heavy equipment)


Searchable List of Indonesia’s Most Valuable Export Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, Indonesia’s top export products are palm oil an coal followed by petroleum gases, crude oil, natural rubber and copper then cars.

The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Indonesia during 2017. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2016.

RankIndonesia's Export Product2018 Value (US$)Change
1Coal, solid fuels made from coal$20.6 billion+15.5%
2Palm oil$16.5 billion-10.7%
3Petroleum gases$10.6 billion+20.2%
4Crude oil$5.1 billion-2.2%
5Copper ores, concentrates$4.2 billion+21.7%
6Natural rubber$4 billion-22.6%
7Lignite$3.3 billion+28.3%
8Cars$3.3 billion+5.8%
9Industrial fatty acids and alcohols$3 billion-0.3%
10Footwear (leather)$2.7 billion+5.2%
11Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$2.5 billion+10.1%
12Coconut/palm/babassu oil$2.4 billion-19.9%
13Uncoated paper for writing/printing$2.4 billion+16%
14Flat-rolled stainless steel items$2.3 billion+299.6%
15Automobile parts/accessories$2.2 billion+5.4%
16Laminated wood (including plywood, veneer panels)$2.1 billion+21.6%
17Gold (unwrought)$2 billion+7.2%
18Jewelry$2 billion-23.5%
19Footwear (textile)$1.8 billion+5.4%
20Rubber tires (new)$1.6 billion+2.6%
21Crustaceans (including lobsters)$1.6 billion-6.8%
22Tin (unwrought)$1.5 billion-3%
23Printing machinery$1.5 billion-8.8%
24Insulated wire/cable$1.4 billion+12.3%
25Precious metal waste, scrap$1.4 billion+52.6%
26Iron ferroalloys$1.4 billion+2.1%
27Miscellaneous furniture$1.1 billion+0.7%
28Motorcycles$1.1 billion+48.2%
29Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$1.1 billion+10.5%
30Biodiesel$1 billion+726.7%
31Refined copper, unwrought alloys$1 billion-6.1%
32Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$976.3 million+10.6%
33TV receivers/monitors/projectors$966.8 million+7.7%
34Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes$931.6 million+3%
35Processed petroleum oils$919.8 million+1.2%
36Women's clothing (knit or crochet)$867 million+15.6%
37Synthetic staple fibers yarn (retail sale)$856.8 million+5.2%
38Margarine$856.7 million-5.7%
39Cocoa butter, fat, oil$824 million+21%
40Stainless steel ingots$821.6 million+93.1%
41Coffee$817.8 million-31.1%
42Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)$813.3 million+12.3%
43Nickel matte, oxide sinters$776.9 million+23.4%
44Acyclic alcohols$739.2 million+36.2%
45Shaped wood$705.8 million+3.4%
46Crustaceans, molluscs (preserved/prepared)$701.4 million+33.6%
47Petroleum oil residues$701.4 million-2.4%
48Women's shirts (not knit or crochet)$685.3 million+12.3%
49Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$671.8 million+3.8%
50Miscellaneous oil cakes$662 million+36.6%
51Motorcycle parts/accessories$655.5 million+9.4%
52Organic surface-active goods, soap$650.6 million-3.9%
53Household/sanitary rolls$629.7 million+19.1%
54Nickel ores, concentrates$628 million+304.7%
55Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation)$624.5 million-6%
56Phone system devices $615.6 million+141.1%
57Coffee/tea extracts, concentrates$575.9 million+20%
58Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$564.5 million+1.4%
59Moluscs$560.3 million+39.8%
60Electrical capacitators$553.4 million+2.3%
61T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$552.4 million+4.4%
62Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$546.5 million+12.6%
63Footwear (rubber or plastic)$521.2 million-3.4%
64Fish fillets, pieces$518.1 million+16.2%
65Copper wire$515 million-8%
66Yarn (85%+ cotton)$505.3 million+1.1%
67Cases, handbags, wallets$500.1 million+37.7%
68Primary batteries/cells$499.7 million-1.4%
69Synthetic staple fibers yarn (not retail sale)$498.8 million-1.4%
70Men's shirts (not knit or crochet)$476.9 million+9.1%
71Iron or steel tubes, pipes$471.3 million+100.6%
72Lower-voltage switches, fuses$463.5 million-7.0%
73Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$461 million+20.1%
74Aluminum oxide/hydroxide$459.3 million+38.7%
75Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)$456.1 million+12.4%
76Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)$456 million+40.6%
77Ammonia$451.6 million+49.9%
78Piston engines$450.4 million+13.5%
79Wood carpentry, builders' joinery$441.4 million+11.9%
80Men's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)$434 million+1.2%
81Synthetic yarn woven fabrics$430 million-16.6%
82Coconuts, Brazil nuts, cashews$429.6 million-22.6%
83Medication mixes in dosage$428 million-2.3%
84Piston engine parts$426.2 million+5.1%
85Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$425.5 million+56.7%
86Amino-compounds (oxygen)$422.6 million+1.3%
87Synthetic filament yarn$422.5 million+1%
88Other food preparations$422.2 million+10.4%
89Wigs, false beards, eyelashes$420.7 million-3.8%
90Machinery parts$416.2 million+61%
91Miscellaneous wooden articles$396.1 million-24.6%
92Integrated circuits/microassemblies$394.9 million+9.3%
93Saturated acyclic mono acids$394.6 million-33.1%
94Refrigerators, freezers$387 million+12.7%
95Electrical converters/power units$386.9 million-22.3%
96Men's suits,trousers (knit or crochet)$383.8 million+17.2%
97Uncoated paper$382.7 million+67.6%
98Bras, corsets (not knit or crochet)$382.3 million-0.4%
99Whole fish (frozen)$381.2 million-19.1%
100Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys$374.8 million+10.8%
101Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$351.2 million+2.8%
102Nitrogenous fertilizers$337.8 million+68.7%
103Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$336.8 million+45.8%
104Computer parts, accessories$322.2 million+12.4%
105Uncombed artificial staple fibres$321 million+3.4%
106Coated paper$317.4 million-8.1%
107Miscellaneous nuts$315.8 million-5.8%
108Acyclic hydrocarbons$314.4 million-20.5%
109Other organic cleaning preparations$307.1 million+4.3%
110Wood charcoal$297.8 million+23.4%
111Microphones/headphones/amps$296 million-2.9%
112#N/A$291.3 million+3.8%
113Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$284.7 million-3.3%
114Animal/vegetable hydrogenated fats, oils$283.3 million-10.3%
115Electrical musical instruments$282.9 million+12.2%
116Computers, optical readers$278.5 million-10.5%
117Clothing, accessories (vulcanized rubber)$276 million+6.1%
118Copper waste, scrap$275.7 million-16.9%
119Electric water heaters, hair dryers$266.7 million+5.3%
120Aluminum ores, concentrates$263.6 million+299.3%
121Electric storage batteries$260.6 million+6.2%
122Pasta, couscous$258.6 million+12.7%
123Hydraulic cements$237.8 million+83.7%
124Synthetic staple fibers not for spinning$234 million+45.1%
125Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms$233 million+25.3%
126Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$228.4 million+23.7%
127Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$227.7 million+14%
128Air or vacuum pumps$223.3 million-15.4%
129Electric motors, generators$220.5 million-9.2%
130Synthetic rubber$219.3 million-54.8%
131Vinyl chloride polymers$219 million+4.2%
132Locust beans$215.4 million+30.4%
133Chemical industry products/residuals$208.8 million+106.7%
134Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$208.6 million-8.2%
135Essential oils$199.3 million+24.3%
136Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$197.9 million+15.1%
137Hydrocarbon derivatives$196.7 million+8.8%
138Miscellaneous preserved fruits$196.3 million-15.8%
139Aluminum (unwrought)$194.1 million+37.5%
140Infant clothing (knit or crochet)$193 million-1.9%
141Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$189.9 million+9.3%
142Ball, roller bearings$186.4 million+2.3%
143TV/radio/radar device parts$183.7 million-20.4%
144Electric shavers, hair clippers, hair removers$181.4 million+19.3%
145Synthetic organic coloring$181.4 million+3.2%
146Tracksuits, swimwear (not knit or crochet)$179.1 million+5.8%
147TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras$177.4 million-12.3%
148Print/write/draw inks$175.2 million+5.6%
149Cyclic hydrocarbons$174.2 million-16.7%
150Unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco waste$169.1 million+27.7%
151Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$166.2 million-2.4%
152Women's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)$165 million+16%
153Scents used for beverage or industrial manufacturing$164.2 million+2.8%
154Glycerol (glycerine)$162.5 million+103.8%
155Miscellaneous vegetable goods$160.2 million+12.3%
156Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$159.2 million+3.5%
157Telecommunication receivers$157.9 million-17.9%
158Pepper (dried/crushed/ground)$156.8 million-35.8%
159Cocoa paste$156.6 million-17.6%
160Women's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)$155.3 million+57.9%
161Perfumes, toilet waters$152.5 million+14.2%
162Sauces, mixed condiments, seasonings$147.5 million+19.8%
163Women's shirts excluding T-shirts$147.3 million-5.6%
164Float/ground/polished glass in sheets$146.6 million+0.2%
165Cocoa powder (no added sugar)$146.1 million-4%
166Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$144.7 million-5.8%
167Tracksuits, swimwear (knit or crochet)$143.8 million-5.8%
168Cinnamon$141.4 million-4.5%
169Registers, notebooks, receipt books$140.2 million+6.8%
170Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$138.5 million+10.9%
171Stockings, hosiery (knit or crochet)$136.2 million+3.3%
172Electrical machinery$136.1 million+13.6%
173Aluminum bars/rods$135 million+59.8%
174Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$134.1 million+3.8%
175Men's coats, capes, jackets$132.9 million+18.1%
176Paper containers, cellulose wadding$132.4 million+15.5%
177Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners$132.3 million+31%
178Acrylic polymers$131.2 million+0.6%
179Miscellaneous plastic items$130.5 million+8.9%
180Iron and steel stranded wire, cables (uninsulated)$129.9 million+16.5%
181Vulcanized rubber items$129.6 million+4.1%
182Nutmeg, mace, cardamoms$128.2 million+6.5%
183Pianos, keyboard stringed instruments$127.2 million-4.1%
184Lab ceramic wares$126.5 million+5.1%
185Insoles, heel cushions$126 million-1.2%
186Ethylene polymers$121.9 million+32.3%
187Men's shirts (knit or crochet)$120.3 million-5.5%
188Optical fiber cables, sheets, plates$118.9 million-10.8%
189Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$115.7 million+2.5%
190Video recording equipment$115.7 million-42.5%
191Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$115.6 million-15.2%
192Veneer sheets, sheets for sawn wood$113.4 million+48.1%
193Electric ignition/start equipment$112.4 million-6.6%
194Tissues, napkins, toilet paper$110.7 million+16.3%
195Polycarboxylic acids$110.4 million-6.1%
196Sort/screen/washing machinery$109.8 million+9.3%
197Copper bars, rods$109.2 million+64.4%
198Tea (including flavored)$108.4 million-5.1%
199Nylon cord fabric$107.7 million+23%
200Unsaturated acyclic mono acids$106.8 million-24%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$164.8 billion or 91.4% by value for all products exported from Indonesia during 2018.

Indonesia’s capital city is Jakarta.

See also Indonesia’s Top Trading Partners, Indonesia’s Top 10 Imports, Top Asian Export Countries and Coal Exports by Country

Research Sources:
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 16, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 28, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 16, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 28, 2019

Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 28, 2019

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Indonesia. Accessed on March 16, 2019

Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 28, 2019