JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Indonesia's exports fell 36 percent in January from a year ago, the biggest drop since 1986, amid plunging demand for the country's vast natural resources and manufactured goods, the statistic's agency reported Monday.
The downward trend -- which began in October -- was in line with declines in exports from other nations across Asia.
January trade data released showed exports, which account for 30 percent of the country's economic growth, fell to $7.15 billion from $11.19 billion the year before, with the biggest drops in shipments of coal, manufactured goods and electronics.
In the last month, there was also a 24 percent drop in oil and gas exports.
Although Indonesia is relatively less reliant on exports than other Asian nations, declining shipments to overseas markets has also caused domestic consumers to spend less. Indonesia, which has weathered the global crisis better than many countries as its economy expanding by 6.1 percent in 2008, is likely to have a slower economy throughout 2009 until a fiscal stimulus package begins to take effect.
Rusman Heriawan, chief of the statistics agency, told reporters the most dramatic drop in exports was the collective decline to the nine other members of ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Main markets in the European Union, the United States and Singapore also were hit, the agency noted. Exports to Japan dropped to $788 million from the recent monthly average above $1 billion.