Malaysia’s total trade in January 2018 surged by 14.9 per cent to RM156.01 billion compared with the corresponding month of last year, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
In a statement today, MITI said an expansion in trade was seen with ASEAN, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the European Union (EU), China, India, Taiwan and South Korea.
“During the period exports posted a stronger year-on-year (y-o-y) growth compared to imports, registering a double-digit growth of 17.9 per cent to RM82.86 billion.
“This was the highest export value ever recorded for the month of January, surpassing RM70.27 billion registered in January 2017,” it said.
On the other hand, imports expanded by 11.6 per cent to RM73.15 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM9.71 billion MITI said, adding, this was the 243 rd consecutive month of trade surplus recorded since November 1997.
Meanwhile, on a month-on-month basis, it said total trade, exports and imports expanded by three per cent, 4.4 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.
MITI said the expansion in exports in January 2018 was driven mainly by growth in all major sectors with manufactured goods recording a y-o-y double-digit growth of 20.4 per cent, while mining and agriculture goods grew by 8.5 per cent and 6.2 per cent respectively.
It said in January 2018, the export of manufactured goods was valued at RM68.34 billion, accounting for 82.5 per cent share of Malaysia’s total exports.
The increase was mainly on account of higher exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products (+27.1 per cent), followed by chemicals and chemical products (+23.4 per cent), iron and steel products (+60.9 per cent), optical and scientific equipment (+18 per cent), manufacture of metal (+14.8 per cent), as well as transport equipment (+32 per cent).
MITI said the export of mining goods expanded by 8.5 per cent to RM7.25 billion, contributed mainly by growth in the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG), attributed to a higher Average Unit Volume (AUV) and quantity.
Exports of agricultural goods rose by 6.2 per cent to RM6.51 billion on higher exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Exports of palm oil grew by 10.1 per cent to RM3.92 billion, due to a higher quantity.
For imports, MITI said total imports in January 2018 increased by 11.6 per cent y-o-y to RM73.15 billion from RM65.53 billion, and there were three main categories of imports by end-use, including Intermediate goods, Capital goods and Consumption goods.
Intermediate goods, valued at RM37.73 billion or 51.6 per cent share of total imports, decreased by 1.7 per cent, following lower imports of parts and accessories of capital goods (except transport equipment) particularly electrical, machinery, equipment and parts, it said.
Capital goods, valued at RM9.3 billion or 12.7 per cent of total imports, declined by 3.1 per cent, due mainly to lower imports of industrial transport equipment, particularly ships, boats and floating structures.
Meanwhile, Consumption goods, valued at RM6.31 billion or (8.6 per cent), increased by 9.8 per cent, as a result of higher imports of processed food and beverages mainly pastry products.
On another note, MITI said trade with ASEAN in January 2018 expanded by 16.2 per cent y-o-y to RM42.98 billion compared to January 2017.
“Exports to ASEAN grew by 15.6 per cent to RM24.19 billion, accounting for a 29.2 per cent share of Malaysia’s total exports.
“The increase was attributed mainly to exports of E&E products, petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products as well as machinery, equipment and parts,” it added.
Imports from ASEAN were higher by 17.1 per cent to RM18.79 billion, consisting largely imports of E&E products, petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products as well as machinery, equipment and parts.
Trade with China also rose by 8.5 per cent y-o-y to RM25.33 billion.
Exports surged by 17.9 per cent to RM10.1 billion on account of the exports of E&E products, chemicals and chemical products, as well as optical and scientific equipment.
Imports from China increased by 3.1 per cent to RM15.23 billion with major imports being E&E products, machinery, equipment and parts, as well as metal products.
Trade with the EU surged by 20.5 per cent y-o-y to RM15.52 billion with exports growing by 13.6 per cent or RM1.01 billion to RM8.38 billion in January 2018.
Exports to most EU markets registered increases, of which major markets with double-digit growth were Germany (+18.8 per cent), Italy (+28.1 per cent), Spain (+48 per cent) and Slovenia ( +11.2%) while Hungary recorded an outstanding growth of 114.8 per cent or RM108.6 million compared to January 2017.
In terms of products, MITI said higher exports were contributed mainly by E & E products, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, as well as the manufacture of metal.
Exports of manufactured goods to the EU rose by 10.9 per cent to RM7.43 billion, accounting for 88.7 per cent of Malaysia’s total exports to the bloc.
Imports from the EU also increased by 29.6 per cent to RM7.14 billion, with main import products being E&E products, transport equipment as well as machinery, equipment and parts.
MITI said trade with the US remained firm with total trade posting an increase of four per cent y-o-y to RM12.94 billion.
Exports rose by 8.7 per cent to reach RM7.27 billion, underpinned mainly by higher exports of manufactured goods, which increased by 6.9 per cent and accounting for 95.6 per cent or RM6.95 billion of Malaysia’s total exports to the US.
An expansion in exports was seen for transport equipment, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, chemicals and chemical products, optical and scientific equipment, as well as rubber products.
However, it said imports from the US declined by 1.5 per cent to RM5.67 billion and the main imports were E&E products, machinery, equipment and parts, as well as chemicals and chemical products.
Malaysia also saw resilient trade with Japan, as total trade in January 2018 grew by 2.9 per cent y-o-y to RM11.73 billion.
Exports to Japan increased by 3.3 per cent to RM7.02 billion, supported mainly by LNG, iron and steel products, crude petroleum, as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Imports from Japan registered an increase of 2.4 per cent to RM4.71 billion with major imports being E&E products, machinery, equipment and parts, as well as chemicals and chemical products.
The ministry said trade with Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners was valued at RM97.77 billion accounting for 62.7 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade.
Exports expanded by 13.7 per cent to RM51.01 billion, representing 61.6 per of Malaysia’s total exports while imports grew by 11.9 per cent to RM46.76 billion.
According to MITI, increases in exports were recorded to China, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Japan, New Zealand, Turkey, the Philippines, Pakistan, Chile and Brunei.
“Exports to South Korea surged by 52.2 per cent to RM2.54 billion, driven mainly by higher exports of E&E products, while to India, it rose by 19.1 per cent to RM2.97 billion, on account of the growing exports of metal products,” it said. –