Malaysia’s exports climb to RM84.2bil in April, exceed forecast

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia exports rose 14% to RM84.2bil in April 2018, the second highest monthly export value after the previous month’s exports of RM84.5bil, underpinned by higher exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products and crude petroleum.

The latest exports numbers exceeded Bloomberg’s survey of a 6.3% increase. 

The Statistics Department reported on Tuesday, re-exports in April 2018 was valued at RM20.1bil (+84.3%) and accounted for 23.9% of total exports. Domestic exports increased RM1.2bil to RM64.1bil.

On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, exports decreased RM224.7mil (-0.3%) from RM84.5bil. In seasonally adjusted terms, exports registered an increase of 9.5%.

Imports for the month of April 2018 expanded by 9.1% year-on-year to RM71.2bil, in sharp contrast with Bloomberg’s survey of a 3.8% increase.

Total trade which was valued at RM155.4bil increased RM16.3bil or 11.7% from a year ago. It also posted a growth of RM1.2bil or 0.8% when compared to the previous month. 

The trade surplus for April 2018 was RM13.1bil, a surge of RM4.4bil (+50.9%) from a year ago. However, the department pointed out, when compared to the previous month, it fell RM1.6bil or 11.0%.

Commenting on the exports in April on a year-on-year basis, the Statistics Department said electrical and electronic (E&E) products (37.8% of total exports), increased RM5.6bil to RM31.8bil.

Refined petroleum products, which contributed 6.2% to total exports, rose RM1.5bil or 38.9% to RM5.2bil due to the increase in both export volume (+26.2%) and average unit value (+10.0%).

Crude petroleum, which contributed 3.4% to total exports expanded RM536mil or 22.7% from RM2.4bil due to the increase in both export volume (+11.0%) and average unit value (+10.6%).

Palm oil and palm oil-based products (7.2% of total exports), increased by a marginal RM11.5bil (+0.2%) to RM6.1bil. Exports of palm oil, the major commodity in this group of products rose RM6.9mil or 0.2% due to the increase in export volume (+24.5%) as average unit value dropped 19.5%.

However, declines were recorded for liquefied natural gas (LNG), which contributed 3.4% of total exports fell RM405.2mil or 12.5% to RM2.8bil due to the decrease in both average unit value (-9.3%) and export volume (-3.5%).

On a y-o-y basis, imports increased 9.1% from RM65.2bil, mainly due to capital goods as intermediate goods and consumption goods decreased.

Imports of capital goods, which accounted for 11.8% of total imports, grew RM382.6mil (+4.8%) to RM8.4bil due to the increase in transport equipment, industrial. However, capital good (except transport equipment) decreased RM324.5mil or 4.3%.

Intermediate goods which constituted 47.5% of total imports fell RM4.6bil to RM33.8bil, mainly due to parts and accessories of capital goods.

Imports of consumption goods which accounted for 7.8% of total imports recorded a decrease of RM99.9mil (-1.8%) to RM5.6bil. The decline was mainly attributed to semi-durables, non-durables and food and beverages, primary, mainly for household consumption. 

However, food and beverages, processed, mainly for household consumption increased RM114.5mil or 7.8%.

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