Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, the Indonesian rupiah depreciated by -5.7% against the US dollar since 2015 but strengthened slightly by 0.6% from 2018 to 2019. The stronger Indonesian rupiah makes Indonesia’s imports paid for in the comparatively weaker US dollars in 2019 modestly less expensive than in 2018 when converted starting from the Indonesian rupiah.
From a continental perspective and based on the latest available data for 2018, 74.9% of Indonesia’s total imports by value were purchased from fellow Asian countries. European nations supplied 9.5% of import purchases by Indonesia while 6.5% worth of goods originated from North America. Smaller percentages of overall Indonesian imports came from Australia and other Oceanian geographies (3.6%), Africa (3.4%) and Latin America (2%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
Given Indonesia ‘s population of 267 million people, its total $156.4 billion in 2019 imports translates to roughly $600 in yearly product demand from every person in the Asian country.
Indonesia’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Indonesia’s import purchases during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Indonesia.
- Machinery including computers: US$26 billion (16.6% of total imports)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $19.9 billion (12.7%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $15.9 billion (10.2%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $7.9 billion (5.1%)
- Iron, steel: $7.3 billion (4.7%)
- Vehicles: $7.1 billion (4.5%)
- Organic chemicals: $5.3 billion (3.4%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $4.1 billion (2.6%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $3.9 billion (2.5%)
- Other chemical goods: $2.4 billion (1.5%)
Indonesia’s top 10 imports accounted for two-thirds (63.8%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Optical, technical and medical apparatus represents the fastest grower among Indonesia’s top 10 import categories, up by 34.7% from 2018 to 2019. The other product category to appreciate was the articles made from iron or steel machinery category which rose 6.4% year over year.
Posting the severest declines among Indonesia’s top imports were mineral fuels including oil (down -49.5%), iron and steel (down -28.7%) and organic chemicals (down -23.7%).
Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.
In 2019, Indonesian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers.
- Computers, optical readers: US$2.1 billion (down -9.9% from 2018)
- Machinery parts: $1.6 billion (up 39.3%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $1.2 billion (up 17.7%)
- Piston engine parts: $1 billion (up 22.2%)
- Liquid pumps and elevators: $980.8 million (down -21%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $969.8 million (up 11.4%)
- Printing machinery: $956.1 million (down -9.8%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $888 million (up 10.8%)
- Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $887 million (down -44.6%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $794.4 million (down -29.2%)
Among these import subcategories, Indonesia’s purchases of machinery parts (up 39.3%), piston engine parts (up 22.2%) then miscellaneous machinery (up 17.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Indonesian businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Indonesian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic products including consumer electronics.
- Phone system devices including smartphones: US$6 billion (up 2.6% from 2018)
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $1.9 billion (down -3%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $963.8 million (down -20.2%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $948.1 million (down -13.5%)
- Electrical machinery: $914.4 million (up 312.6%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $817.6 million (down -12.9%)
- TV/radio/radar device parts: $668.6 million (down -48.1%)
- Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $534.7 million (down -15.6%)
- Electric motors, generators: $509.5 million (up 7.5%)
- Electric storage batteries: $502.2 million (up 20.9%)
Among these import subcategories, Indonesia’s purchases of electrical machinery (up 312.6%), electric storage batteries (up 20.9%) then electric motors and generators (up 7.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among Indonesian businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Indonesian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.
- Processed petroleum oils: US$11.3 billion (down -34.1% from 2018)
- Crude oil: $2.2 billion (down -76.3%)
- Petroleum gases: $899.9 million (down -70.6%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $706.3 million (down -21.5%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $447.4 million (down -2.8%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $134.8 million (down -73.6%)
- Electrical energy: $129.6 million (up 21.5%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $102.9 million (down -37.9%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $24.6 million (down -28.1%)
- Tar pitch, coke: $14.2 million (down -42%)
Among these import subcategories, only Indonesia’s purchases of electrical energy (up 21.5%) grew from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported fuel among Indonesian businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Indonesian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of plastics including items made from plastic.
- Ethylene polymers: US$1.4 billion (down -24.2% from 2018)
- Propylene/olefin polymers: $1.3 billion (down -6.9%)
- Polyacetal/ether/carbonates: $831.9 million (down -18.9%)
- Miscellaneous plastic items: $621 million (up 1.1%)
- Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips: $566.2 million (down -4.8%)
- Plastic packing goods, lids, caps: $391.8 million (down -16.7%)
- Styrene polymers: $329.2 million (down -23.4%)
- Self-adhesive plastic in rolls: $314.4 million (down -13.5%)
- Amino-resins: $272.8 million (down -16.1%)
- Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips: $265.6 million (down -23.5%)
Among these import subcategories, Indonesia’s purchases of miscellaneous plastic items represents the sole product category to expand via a tepid 1.1% increase from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported plastics including both materials and items made from plastic among Indonesian businesses and consumers.
See also Indonesia’s Top Trading Partners, Indonesia’s Top 10 Exports and Top Asian Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook report on East Asia/Southeast Asia: Indonesia. Accessed on April 22, 2020
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on April 22, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 22, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 22, 2020