August exports fall on weak external demand

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's exports fell 4.5% in August to RM55.96bil from the RM58.62bil a year ago as it was impacted by the weak demand from the Eurozone, China and India.

The Statistics Department reported on Friday August exports also declined from July, down 3.7% from RM59.65bil.

For the period January to August, the exports totalled RM465.29bil compared with RM458.23bil in the previous corresponding period.

However, imports for August increased by 2.8% to RM48.88bil mainly due to increase in imports of capital goods, by RM856.9mil. But when compared with July, the imports fell 10.3% from RM54.50bil.

Malaysia's total trade in August 2012 declined to RM104.84bil from RM106.17bil a year ago.

"This was mainly due to lower trade with Thailand, which declined by RM1.25bil; Qatar, (RM573.1mil) and France, (RM535.4mil).

"However, trade with the US increased by RM745.7mil, China (RM119mil) and Japan (RM691.8mil)," said the department.

On the August exports, it said electrical and electronic products totalled RM19.13bil or 34.2% of total exports; liquefied natural gas (RM5.28bil, 9.4%); palm oil (RM4.38bil, 7.8%); chemicals and chemical products (RM3.67bil, 6.6%); and refined petroleum products (RM3.46bil, 6.2%).

Exports to Asean fell 2.9% from August 2011 to RM13.96bil, accounting for 24.9% of Malaysia's total exports.

Exports to the US rose 4.2% to RM5.22bil from a year ago, mainly due to E&E products, which expanded by 12%, primarily photosensitive semi-conductor devices as well as palm oil by 19.3%.

The department said exports to China fell by 10.6% to RM7.51bil, attributed mainly to lower manufacturing activities and domestic demand in the country. Exports of palm oil, E&E products primarily monolithic integrated circuits, crude petroleum as well as crude rubber fell.

However, exports to Japan rose 15.4% to RM7.05bil, with higher exports of LNG.

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