KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s exports rose higher than expected in August, underpinned by electrical and electronics (E&E) products, but imports contracted sharply, according to the Statistics Department.
It said on Wednesday exports for August rose 4.1% to RM66.5bil from the RM63.9bil a year ago, exceeding forecast of a 1.3% growth.
The department said on a month-on-month basis, exports increased RM3.3bil (up 5.2%) to RM66.5bil. In seasonally adjusted terms, exports rose 2.3%.
On a month-on-month basis, exports increased due to higher exports to Singapore (+RM1.1bil), Thailand (+RM996.1mil), European Union (+RM656.5mil), USA (+RM497.5mil), Pakistan (+RM249.3mil).
Electrical and electronics (E&E) products, which contributed 37.7% to total exports, grew RM2bil or 8.6% to RM25.1bil. Refined petroleum products, which accounted for 5.5% to total exports, grew RM628.2mil or 20.8% to RM3.6bil due to the increase in both export volume (+14.8%) and average unit value (+5.2%).
As for imports, Malaysia recorded a 6.1% decline to RM56.3bil from RM60bil, below forecast of a 1.7% growth.
On a month-on-month basis, imports fell RM4.5bil (-7.4%) to RM56.3bil. In seasonally adjusted terms, imports fell 3.9%.
The fall in imports were mainly from European Union (-RM1.1bil), Australia (-RM859.1mil),
China (-RM661.6mil), South Korea (-RM509.5mil) and Taiwan (-RM328.9mil).
“The reduction was attributed to lower imports of intermediate goods, consumption goods and capital goods,” it said.
The department said intermediate goods, which constituted 57.7% of total imports, decreased RM4.2bil (-11.4%) to RM32.5bil. The decrease were mainly attributed to fuel & lubricants, processed, other (-RM2.2bil, -59.3%), industrial supplies, processed (-RM899.6mil, -6.9%) and parts & accessories of capital goods (except transport equipment) (-RM898.1mil,-6.9%).
It added imports of consumption goods which accounted for 8.5% of total imports declined RM479.6mil (-9.1%) to RM4.8bil.
The main components attributing to the decline were semi-durables (-RM146.0mil, -12.6%) and food & beverages, processed, mainly for household consumption (-RM123.3mil, -8.6%).
Imports of capital goods, which represented 13.1% of total imports, fell RM121.1mil or 1.6% to RM7.4bil due to the decline in transport equipment, industrial (-RM231.2mil, -30.3%).
The department said total trade in August 2015 was RM122.9bil, down RM1.2bil (-1.0%) from July when it also slipped RM1bil or 0.8% on-year ago.
In August 2015, Malaysia recorded a trade surplus of RM10.2bil, an expansion of RM7.8bil or 330.6% from July. It also grew 163.3% or RM6.3bil from a year ago.