KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia recorded strong trade performance in August from a year ago with exports growing by 18.4% to RM95.59bil, the 12th consecutive month of year-on-year (y-o-y) expansion since September 2020.
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said on Tuesday underpinning the exports were mainly robust external demand for petroleum products, electrical and electronic (E&E) products mainly due to higher shipments of semiconductors as well as chemicals and chemical products.
It said exports to all major markets namely Asean, China, the US, the European Union (EU), and Japan recorded positive growth.
“Imports expanded by 12.5% to RM74.19bil while trade surplus was up by 44.7% to RM21.39bil,” it said.
Trade increased by 15.7% to RM169.79bil compared to August 2020, the seventh consecutive month of double-digit growth since February 2021.
However, on a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, trade surplus surged by 55.5% while trade, exports and imports declined by 6.1%, 1.8% and 11.2% respectively.
MITI said in August 2021, exports of manufactured goods accounted for 84.6% of total exports, increasing by 15.4% y-o-y to RM80.83bil.
Petroleum products, E&E products, chemicals and chemical products, manufactures of metal as well as palm oil-based manufactured products registered more than RM1bil expansion in exports.
Elaborating on the exports, MITI said E&E products, valued at RM34.27bil and accounting for 35.8% of total exports, increased by 6.8% from August 2020.
It said petroleum products at RM7.14bil, 7.5% of total exports, increased by 56.5%; while chemicals and chemical products at RM5.81bil, 6.1% of total exports, increased by 59.1%.
Palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products worth RM5.54bi or 5.8% of total exports, increased by 35.1%.
Manufactures of metal totalled RM4.67bil or 4.9% of total exports, increased by 69.8%.
In August 2021, trade with China expanded 14.3% y-o-y to RM32.17bil, the ninth consecutive month of double-digit expansion and represented 18.9% of Malaysia’s total trade.
Exports to China grew by 5.7% to RM15.19bil following higher exports of LNG as well as chemicals and chemical products. Imports from China rose by 23.4% to RM16.99bil.
Trade with the US in August 2021 accounted for 9.9% of Malaysia’s total trade or RM16.75bil, an increase of 5.8% y-o-y.
Exports to the US rebounded by 12.1% to RM10.84bil on higher exports of E&E products, rubber products as well as machinery, equipment and parts. Imports from the US fell 4.2% to RM5.91bil.
Total August imports
As for imports, they grew by 12.5% y-o-y to RM74.2bil. The three main categories of imports by end use which accounted for 76.9% of total imports were: intermediate goods, valued at RM42.4bil or 57.1% of total imports, increased by 13.4%, following higher imports of processed industrial supplies particularly iron and steel.
Capital goods, valued at RM8.32bil or 11.2% of total imports, grew by 22.9%, due to higher imports of capital goods (except transport equipment), primarily parts for machinery and mechanical appliances.
Consumption goods, valued at RM6.35 billion or 8.6% of total imports, slipped by 0.6%, as a result of lower imports of durables, especially parts for machinery and mechanical appliances.