July exports at second highest on record of RM97.12b

  • Economy
  • Friday, 28 Aug 2020

China continued to be the biggest export market for the fourth consecutive month comprising iron and steel products, solid-state storage devices (SSD) and palm oil.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s exports in July 2020 rose by 3.1% to RM92.53bil from a year ago and it was the second highest export value ever registered, after RM97.12bil in October 2018.

A statement by the Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on Friday China continued to be the biggest export market for the fourth consecutive month comprising iron and steel products, solid-state storage devices (SSD) and palm oil.

MITI said for July, the total exports were also the highest export value ever recorded for the month of July.

Exports grew by 11.7% from June’s RM82.82bil. The exports also exceeded a Bloomberg survey of a 1.4% decline.

Exports of manufactured goods in July 2020, which accounted for 87.5% of total exports, rose by 4.7% y-o-y to RM80.94bil.

“This was contributed by higher exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products, rubber products, other manufactures especially SSD, optical and scientific equipment, wood products as well as iron and steel products.

“Exports of agriculture goods (7.1% share) surged by 30.4% y-o-y to RM6.57bil, boosted mainly by exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, ” it said.

However, exports of mining goods (5.1% share) fell by 30.2% y-o-y to RM4.68bil mainly on lower exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

MITI said E&E products, valued at RM39.54bil and constituted 42.7% of total exports, increased by 9.2% from a year ago.

However, petroleum products, valued at RM5.97bill, 6.5% of total exports, decreased by 7.1%.

There was an increase in palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, valued at RM4.76bil, increased by 52%;

MITI said a total of 4.15bil in optical and scientific equipment were exported, which was a 9.9% rise.

As for rubber products, exports were valued at RM4.01bil, representing a 93.9% jump.

It also pointed out that exports to China continued to expand for four consecutive months, up by 13.9% to RM15.58bil.

This was driven by higher exports of iron and steel products, other manufactures (SSD), palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products as well as manufactures of metal.

MITI also said the US was the second largest export market for Malaysia in June.

Exports surged by 28.6% to RM11.16bil supported mainly by higher exports of manufactured goods, including E&E products, rubber products, wood products, petroleum products as well as machinery, equipment and parts.


Imports declined by 8.7% to RM67.38bil from RM73.8 billion in July 2019. This decline was sharper than a 4.5% fall in the Bloomberg survey.

The three main categories of imports by end use which accounted for 67.2% of total imports were:

Intermediate goods, valued at RM32.16bil or 47.7% share of total imports, decreased by 17.3%, following lower imports of processed industrial supplies, particularly iron and steel;

Capital goods, valued at RM6.74bil or 10% of total imports, decreased by 19.7%, due mainly to reduced imports of capital goods (except transport equipment), particularly parts of machinery and mechanical appliances;

Consumption goods, valued at RM6.38 billion or 9.5% of total imports, rose by 0.1%, as a result of higher imports of durables, particularly parts of machinery and mechanical appliances.

Total trade, surplus

Trade surplus expanded by 57.5% to RM25.15bil compared to RM15.97bil in July 2019 and was the highest monthly trade surplus ever recorded.

Total trade decreased by 2.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM159.92bil as lower trade was recorded with Australia, Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia and Japan.

Higher trade was registered with the US, India, Bahrain, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong SAR.

On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, total trade, exports and imports recorded growth of 10.4%, 11.7% and 8.7%, respectively while trade surplus grew by 20.6%.

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