PETALING JAYA: The country’s external trade continued its stellar performance in November 2021, with a year-on-year (y-o-y) expansion of 34.9% to RM205.5bil, breaching the RM200bil mark for the second time in a row.
It was also the 10th consecutive month of double-digit growth since February 2021.
In a statement, the International Trade and Industry Ministry said exports rose 32.4% to RM112.2bil, the 15th consecutive month of y-o-y expansion since September 2020.
Imports were 38% higher at RM93.3bil and trade surplus increased 10.5% to RM18.9bil.
Trade and imports recorded the highest monthly value.
The export expansion was underpinned by strong exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products, petroleum products as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.
Meanwhile, exports to major markets, notably Asean, China, the United States, the European Union and Japan, recorded double-digit growth.
Exports to Asean and the US registered an all-time high monthly value.
For the 11-month period to November 2021, trade surpassed the RM2 trillion mark for the first time, expanding 24.6% to RM2.01 trillion compared to the same period last year.
Exports increased 25.7% to RM1.12 trillion.
Imports rose 23.3% to RM894.42bil and trade surplus edged up 36.2% to RM221.53bil.
Trade, exports, imports and trade surplus registered the highest value for the period.
In response to the latest trade numbers, MIDF Research has raised its full-year growth projection for exports and imports.
“Taking into account the strong growth in the recent months, we revise up our export and import growth projection for the year 2021 to 24.5% (up from 19.8%) and 23% (up from 18.9%), respectively.
“The performance of foreign trade has been more robust than expected, and this will contribute positively to the economic recovery in the fourth quarter of 2021,” the brokerage said in its notes.
According to MIDF Research, while Malaysia stands to benefit from the sustained growth in external demand, the slowdown in China and tighter Covid-19 restrictions in other countries were among the risks that could affect the export outlook.
“Nonetheless, we expect exports to grow in the coming months, driven by strong demand for E&E, petroleum and palm oil products,” it said.
“Given the growing domestic spending and improving business activity, we foresee further expansion in imports,” it added.
Year-to-date, all products recorded export expansion, except for transport equipment as well as beverages and tobacco.
Exports of manufactured goods grew 25.3% y-o-y to RM961.89bil, aided by growing exports of E&E products, petroleum products, manufactures of metal and rubber products as well as chemicals and chemical products.
Exports of agriculture goods rose 37.3% to RM87.03bil, due to strong exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products and natural rubber.
Exports of mining goods edged up 17.8% to RM62.78bil, buoyed by higher exports of liquefied natural gas or LNG, metalliferous ores and metal scrap, as well as crude petroleum.
In November 2021, trade with Asean, which accounted for 27.6% of Malaysia’s total trade, expanded 45.5% y-o-y to RM56.63bil.
In November 2021, trade with China, which absorbed 18.5% of Malaysia’s total trade, climbed 26.1% y-o-y to RM37.92bil, the 12th consecutive month of double-digit growth.