KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's exports for February fell 2% to RM70.3bil due to lower exports of palm oil products and liquefied natural gas (LNG), which was in sharp contrast with Bloomberg's survey of an 8% increase.
According to the Statistics Department on Thursday, Febuary imports fell 2.8% to RM61.3b due to lower imports of intermediate goods used in the electrical and electronic (E&E) products. The decline in imports were below the survey of a 7.1% increase.
On a month-on-month basis, exports dropped RM12.5bil (-15.1%) from RM82.8bil in January due to lower imports of E&E products, palm oil products and LNG.
Imports dropped RM11.8bil or 16.2% from RM73.2bil in January due to a decline in a three intermediate goods, capital goods and consumption goods.
Total trade in February 2018 was valued at RM131.7bil, down 2.4% on a on-year basis. It shrank RM24.3bil or 15.6% from January.
February recorded a trade surplus of RM9bil, up RM286.2mil (+3.3%) from RM8.7bil a year ago. However, it fell RM648.7mil or 6.7% from January.
On a month-on-month basis seasonally adjusted terms, exports dropped RM7.5bil (-8.9%) to RM77.4bil. Imports fell RM3.9bil (-5.3%) to RM69.5bil.
Exports in February on-year
Commenting on the exports in February on a year-on-year basis, the department said palm oil and palm oil-based products (7.8% of total exports), fell 21.6% to RM5.5bil. Exports of palm oil fell 23.7% due to the decrease in both average unit value (-23.3%) and export volume (-0.5%).
LNG, which contributed 4.1% of total exports dropped11.8% to RM2.9bil due to the decrease in both export volume (-11.2%) and average unit value (-0.7%).
Timber and timber-based products, which accounted for 2.0% of total exports, fell RM327.4mil or 18.9% to RM1.4bil.
E&E products (35.0% of total exports), recorded a slight decline of RM35.0 million or 0.1% to RM24.6bil.
However, refined petroleum products, which accounted for 7.5% of total exports, increased 29.1% to RM5.3bil due to the increase in both export volume (+18.4%) and average unit value (+9.0%).
Crude petroleum (3.5% of total exports), grew RM70.3mil or 3% to RM2.4bil due to the increase in average unit value (+10.3%) although export volume decreased 6.6%.
February exports versus January
When compared with January, exports dropped RM12.5bil (-15.1%) from RM82.8bil due to a decline in E&E, palm oil and LNG exports.
E&E products recorded a fall of 22.4% from RM31.7bil while palm oil and palm oil-based products fell 17% from RM6.6bil.
Exports of palm oil dropped RM886.5mil or 22.6% due to the decrease in both export volume (-19.6%) and average unit value (-3.8%).
LNG exports shrank RM857.5mil or 22.8% from RM3.8bil due to the decrease in export volume (-24.1%) although average unit value increased 1.7%.
Timber and timber-based products declined RM586.5mil or 29.5% from RM2bil.
Crude petroleum fell RM54.7mill or 2.2% from RM2.5bil due to the 3.4% of decrease in export volume as average unit value increased 1.2%.
Imports in February on-year
The department said on-year, imports declined 2.8% from RM63.1bil due to lower imports of intermediate goods which account for 53.5% of total imports.
There was 14.7% decline in imports of intermediate goods to RM32.8bil. The decrease was mainly attributed to fuel & lubricants, primary (-RM2.7bil, -59.8%), parts & accessories of capital goods (except transport equipment) (-RM1.7bil, -13%), fuel & lubricants, processed, others (-RM579.6mil, -25.6%) and food & beverages, processed, mainly for industries (-RM455.8mil, -36.5%).
Imports of consumption goods, which represent 8.4% of total imports, rose 12.6% to RM578.2mil. The main component contributing to the rise were semi-durables(+RM250.4mil, +31.4%), non-durables (+RM182.6mil, +16.3%) and durables (+RM106.3mil, +18.5%).
It said the import of capital goods – which represents 12.6% of total imports – rose 6% to RM7.7 billion due to the increase in transport equipment, industrial (+RM1.2bil , +284.1%). However, capital goods (except transport equipment) fell 11.8% or RM808.9mil.
Imports in February versus January
Imports fell RM11.8bil or 16.2% from RM73.2bil as all three intermediate goods, capital goods and consumption goods registered a decline.
Imports of intermediate goods recorded a 13% fall or RM4.9bil from RM37.7bil.
Imports of capital goods declined RM1.6bil or 16.7% from RM9.3bil in January due to the decline in capital goods (except transport equipment) (-RM2.3bil, -27.7%). However, transport equipment, industrial increased RM763.0mil or 82.4%.
Imports of consumption goods fell RM1.2bil (-18.3%) from RM6.3bil due to semi-durables (-RM381.2mil, -26.7%), food & beverages, primary, mainly for household consumption (-RM314.4mil, -31.2%) and food & beverages, processed, mainly for household consumption (-RM284.1mil, -17.3%).