Malaysia’s total trade in February 2022 expanded by 17.5% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM184.8 billion, in line with the nation’s exports and imports’ double-digit growth, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
In a statement on Friday (March 18), DOSM said exports increased 16.8% y-o-y to RM102.3 billion — the 18th consecutive month of y-o-y expansion since September 2020 — while imports rose 18.4% to RM82.5 billion.
Malaysia’s chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the nation’s y-o-y export growth was fuelled by both domestic exports and re-exports.
“Domestic exports stood at RM84.2 billion which contributed 82.4% to the total exports and grew by 17.9%, while the re-exports registered RM18 billion, increasing by 11.7% compared to the same month last year,” he said.
Mohd Uzir added that the rise in exports was supported by higher exports to China amounting to RM2.5 billion, followed by Singapore (RM1.8 billion), the European Union (RM1.4 billion), Vietnam (RM1.4 billion), Thailand (RM1.2 billion) and Japan (RM911.1 million).
On imports, the greater figure was mainly driven by imports from Singapore amounting to RM2.3 billion, followed by the United States (RM1.8 billion), Indonesia (RM1.3 billion), Taiwan (RM1.1 billion), China (RM957.5 million), and the EU (RM847.2 million).
Commenting further on exports, he said the growth was driven by electrical and electronic products (RM8.1 billion), palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products (RM2.3 billion), chemical and chemical products (RM1.5 billion), liquefied natural gas (RM1.3 billion), manufacture of metal (RM1.2 billion), and palm oil-based manufactured products (RM1.2 billion).
“Meanwhile, the rise in imports were noted for electrical and electronic products (RM4.5 billion); chemical and chemical products (RM2 billion); petroleum products (RM1.8 billion); machinery, equipment and parts (RM1.1 billion); and palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products (RM771.7 million),” Mohd Uzir added.
He said the expansion in imports by end use was sustained by higher demand primarily for intermediate goods, consumption goods and capital goods.
“Imports of intermediate goods (56.6% of the total imports) totalled RM46.7 billion, expanded by RM8.4 billion or 21.8%. Consumption goods (8.5% of total imports) registered an increase of 18.3% from RM5.9 billion in the preceding year to RM7 billion. Imports of capital goods amounted RM7.9 billion, rose by 4.4% as compared to February 2021, and comprised 9.6% of total imports,” he added.
Additionally, Mohd Uzir noted that Malaysia’s trade surplus in February 2022 stood at RM19.8 billion, which marked the 22nd consecutive month of trade surplus since May 2020.
However, on a month-on-month basis, Mohd Uzir noted that there was a decline all across the board bar trade surplus.
“In comparison to January 2022, the performance of exports, imports and total trade showed declines of 7.9%, 10.8% and 9.2%, respectively. In [contrast], trade surplus grew by 6.6%.
Meanwhile, on a year-to-date basis (January to February 2022), the chief statistician said total trade, exports, imports and trade surplus remained resilient with double-digit growth.
“The total trade went up by 21.4%, supported by the expansion in exports (up 20.4%) as well as imports (up 22.6%). Consequently, trade surplus recorded a higher value of RM38.3 billion,” he said.
Edited by Surin Murugiah
- The Edge Markets