Malaysia's trade in May grows 10.3% y-o-y to RM246.1bil, hits 20-month high


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s trade remained resilient and buoyant in May 2024, recording a double-digit year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 10.3 per cent to RM246.31 billion, according to the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI).

In a statement today, MITI said the trade amount was the highest value recorded since October 2022 and the fifth consecutive month of y-o-y expansion.

"Exports increased for the second consecutive month, expanding by 7.3 per cent to RM128.22 billion.

"Meanwhile, imports grew by 13.8 per cent to RM118.09 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM10.14 billion and the 49th consecutive month of surplus since May 2020,” it added.

MITI said the growth in exports was mainly due to strong exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, manufacturing of metal, optical and scientific equipment, and iron and steel products.

"Exports of E&E products sustained positive growth for the second consecutive month.

"Signs of economic recovery in the nation’s key export markets were seen where exports to major trading partners, namely ASEAN, the People’s Republic of China, the United States (US), the European Union and Japan recorded increases,” it said.

MITI said exports to ASEAN and the US grew significantly with double-digit expansion.

Similarly, exports to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners increased by 4.5 per cent y-o-y to RM87.64 billion, said the ministry.

"Among the partners that registered export expansion were Mexico and Canada, driven by higher exports of E&E products,” it said.

MITI said trade, exports and imports during the first five months of 2024 recorded the highest periodic values.

"Trade grew by 8.7 per cent to RM1.158 trillion against the corresponding period in 2023, while exports increased by 4.5 per cent to RM605.25 billion and imports were higher by 13.7 per cent to RM553.24 billion.

"A trade surplus of RM52.01 billion was posted for the period,” it said.

Meanwhile, compared with April 2024, MITI said trade performance in May 2024 was seen as resilient, with trade, exports, imports, and trade surplus recording double-digit growth of 11.1 per cent, 11.8 per cent, 10.4 per cent and 30.9 per cent, respectively.

The World Bank, in its June 2024 Global Economic Prospects Report, projected global gross domestic product (GDP) growth to increase by 2.6 per cent in 2024, compared to its forecast in January 2024 of 2.4 per cent, amid stronger than expected United States economic performance.

It also estimated Malaysia’s GDP growth to edge up by 4.3 per cent in 2024.

MITI said Malaysia’s manufacturing sector is poised for positive growth in 2024, supported by industrial reforms spearheaded by the agency (MITI) and a promising uptick in global semiconductor demand projections.

"Recently, the World Semiconductors Trade Statistics forecast that the global semiconductor market will see a robust growth of 16 per cent in 2024 on the back of stronger performance in computing end-markets.

"Malaysia was ranked the 10th largest global exporter of E&E products and the 6th largest exporter of semiconductors in 2023,” it added. - Bernama

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