Malaysia's trade exports grow 17.9% to RM82b

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's trade exports in January surged 17.9% year-on-year to RM82.86bil, underpinned by growth in all major sectors and increased trade with its major trading partners.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said in its external trade statistics report that imports grew 11.6% to RM73.15bil, resulting in a trade surplus of RM9.71b.

"On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, total trade, exports and imports expanded by 3%, 4.4% and 1.5%, respectively," it said.

Exports of manufactured goods saw the most growth of 20.4% to RM68.34bil, accounting for 82.5% share of the country's total exports.

"The main contributors to the increase were exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products which surged by 27.1%, followed by chemicals and chemical products (23.4%), iron and steel products (60.9%), optical and scientific equipment (18%), manufactures of metal (14.8%) as well as transport equipment (32%)."

Exports of mining goods grew 8.5% to RM7.25bil, underpinned by growth in exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), attributed to higher Average Unit Volume (AUV) and quantity.

Meanwhile, exports of agriculture goods rose 6.2% to RM6.51bil on higher exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Exports of palm oil grew by 10.1% to RM3.92 billion, due to higher quantity.

With regards to the main categories of imports, intermediate goods dropped 1.7% to RM37.73bil, representing 51.6% share of total imports. Capital goods declined 3.1% to RM9.3bil while consumption goods grew 9.8% to RM6.31bil.

Expansion in trade with Malaysia's major trading markets was seen across the board with export growth driven by Asean, Hong Kong SAR, the EU, China, India, Taiwan and South Korea.

According to MITI, Malaysia narrowed its trade deficit with China, with exports growing 17.9% to RM10.1bil and imports increasing at a slower rate of 3.1% to RM15.23.

Meanwhile, trade with Free Trade Agreement partners continued to grow, representing 6.27% or RM97.77bil of Malaysia's total trade.

"Exports to FTA partners expanded by 13.7% to RM51.01 billion, representing 61.6% of Malaysia’s total exports," said the statistics department.

Malaysia also experienced a decrease in trade surplus with the EU, with exports growing 13.6% to RM8.38bil but imports rising 29.6% to RM7.14bil

It also registered growth in its export trade with the US, rising 4% y-o-y to RM12.94bil while imports declined 1.5% to RM5.67bil.

In Japan, exports increased 3.3% to RM7.02bil while imports grew 2.4% to RM4.71bil.

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