KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian exports in October rose 18.9% to RM82.41bil, exceeding a Bloomberg forecast of a 17% increase, underpinned by an higher exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products and petroleum products.
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said on Wednesday that exports had exceeded the RM80bil mark for the third time in 2017.
Imports rose by 20.9% to RM71.85bil, exceeding the forecast of a 20% increase.
“Trade surplus widened to RM10.56bil, the highest value since April 2016, making it the 240th consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997.
“On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, total trade, exports and imports expanded by 4.3%, 5.3% and 3.2%, respectively,” it said.
Total trade for the first 10 months of 2017 amounted to RM1.465 trillion, expanding by 21.5% from the previous corresponding period.
Exports totalled RM772.66bil, an increase of 21.1% while imports stood at RM692.51bil, rose by 21.9%.
Malaysia recorded a trade surplus of RM80.15bil, up 14.4% from a year ago.
Commenting on the October exports, MITI said manufactured goods recorded a 19.5% in October 2017 increased by 19.5% or RM11.11bil to RM68.07bil, accounting for 82.6% of Malaysia’s total exports.
“The expansion was mainly on account of higher exports of E&E products and petroleum products, collectively contributing 54.8% to total manufactured exports.
“All major subsectors registered double digit growth in exports except for processed food and wood products,” it said.
Exports of mining goods increased by 27.3% to RM6.7bil, accounting for 8.1% of Malaysia’s total exports.
The higher growth was mainly due to increased exports of crude petroleum, on the back of higher Average Unit Value (AUV) and volume.
Exports of agriculture goods increased by 6.3% from October 2016 to RM6.98bil, with a share of 8.5% of total exports.
Exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products which grew by 7.9% to RM4.98bil was the main contributor to the expansion.
MITI said E&E products totalled RM31.11bil – which account for 37.7% of total exports -- increased by 16.9% from October last year.
Petroleum products accounted for RM6.17bil -- 7.5% of total exports -- increased by 21.4%. Chemicals and chemical products totalled RM5.93bil.
MITI said China remained Malaysia's single largest export market, expanding by 20.5% to RM11.45bil, due to higher exports of LNG, manufactures of metal, petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products, rubber products as well as crude petroleum.
When comapred with September, exports to China in October posted stronger on-year growth compared to imports for seven consecutive months.
MITI said imports from China increased by 17.4% to RM13.57bil.
In October 2017, trade with China increased by 18.8% on-year to RM25.02bil, making up 16.2% of Malaysia’s total trade.