KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's exports rose by 2.5% to RM84.15bil, the highest export value ever for the month of May, exceeding a Bloomberg survey of a 2.2% increase aided by an increase in crude palm oil (CPO) exports.
The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) said in a statement on Thursday electrical and electronic (E&E) products increased by 0.5% from a year ago to RM29.34bil. E&E accounted for 34.9% of total exports.
As for petroleum products, they fell by 14.9% to RM6.89bil (8.2% of total exports). Chemicals and chemical products posted a 7.7% increase to RM4.86bil (5.8% of total exports).
“Palm oil & palm oil based agriculture products rose by 17.5% to RM4.27bil or 5.1% of total exports, increased by 17.5%,” it said.
Miti said imports expanded by 1.4% to RM75.06bil, which were below the Bloomberg forecast of 3.2%.
“Faster export growth compared to imports has resulted in a higher trade surplus of RM9.08bil, surged by 11.9% compared to May last year. This was the 259th consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997,” it said.
On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, imports increased by 1% while total trade, exports and trade surplus slipped by 0.2%, 1.2% and 16%, respectively.
Malaysia’s trade in May 2019 grew by 2% from May 2018 to reach RM159.21bil. Expansion was supported mainly by higher trade with the US, India, the Philippines and Thailand.
Miti said trade with China -- 16.7% of Malaysia’s total trade or RM26.56bil -- dipped by 2.2% y-o-y.
Exports in May to China declined by 2.2% to RM11.28bil due to lower exports of E&E products, manufactures of metal as well as petroleum products.
However, there was an increase in exports of chemicals and chemical products, iron and steel products as well as LNG.
Miti said imports from China contracted by 2.1% to RM15.28bil.
Meanwhile, trade with the US in May 2019 grew by 21.1% y-o-y to RM14bil, constituting 8.8% of Malaysia’s total trade.
Exports to US registered a double digit growth of 11.7% to RM7.82bil on account of higher exports of E&E products, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, wood products, rubber products, machinery, equipment and parts as well as manufactures of metal. Imports from the US surged by 35.6% to RM6.18bil.
Compared to April 2019, trade, exports and imports with the US increased by 5.5%,1.3% and 11.3%, respectively.
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