KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's exports surged 13.6% in January 2017 to RM70.24bil, underpinned by double-digit growth in all major sectors, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said on Friday.
The 13.6% increase from a year ago was however, slightly lower than Bloomberg's survey of a15% increase.
MITI said the January exports were the highest for the month of January, surpassing the RM64.05bil registered in January 2014.
It said imports expanded by 16.1% to RM65.53bil, which was much higher than the survey of 10.2%.
Malaysia's January trade was up 14.8% to RM135.77bil as compared with RM118.31bil a year ago, boosted by expansion in trade with China, Asean, Japan, the US, Taiwan, Australia and the EU.
The country recorded a trade balance of RM4.71bil.
Commenting on the January exports, it said exports of manufactured goods increased by 12.2% while mining and agricultural goods grew by 18% and 16.1%.
MITI said exports of manufactured goods were valued at RM56.77bil – accounting for 80.8% share of Malaysia's total exports.
Exports of petroleum products surged by 81.7% to RM6.09bil while exports of mining goods rose 18.8% to RM6.68bil and exports of agricultural goods rose 16.1% to RM6.12bil, mainly due to palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products,
It said electrical and electronics (E&E) products increased by 11.4% from a year ago to RM24.89bil or 35.4% of total exports.
As for imports, it said the increase by 16.1% to RM65.53bil from a year ago was due to intermediate goods, capital goods and consumption goods.
Intermediate goods were valued at RM38.36bil or 58.5% of total imports mainly due to higher imports of electronic integrated circuits as procesors and controllers.
Capital goods imported into Malaysia totalled RM9.61bil and were up 35.2% due to higher imports of vessels.
As for consumption goods, there was a 1.6% decline to RM5.74bil with lower imports of food products.