MANUFACTURED GOODS BOOST MALAYSIA’S TRADE SURPLUS
Strong growth supported by high demand from major trading partners in region, EU and the US
MALAYSIA’S manufactured goods export performance continues to show strong growth, supported by continued demand from major trading partners, particularly regional economies, the European Union (EU) and United States.
Trade surplus widened to RM27.7 billion from RM26.7 billion posted in the third quarter of (Q3 2017) last year.
For the fourth quarter last year, significant growth could be seen in the semiconductor sector, with exports accelerating to 24.4 per cent from 23.3 per cent registered in the Q3 2017, benefiting from an upswing in the global technology cycle.
Resource-based manufactured exports remained resilient, supported mainly by chemicals and chemical products, petroleum and rubber products while commodity exports moderated due to contractions in palm oil and natural rubber products and slower growth in liquefied natural gas exports.
Bank Negara Malaysia said this was, however, partially offset by stronger crude petroleum exports, reflecting mainly higher crude oil prices.
Gross imports growth remained strong in the fourth quarter last year with 14.4 per cent compared with 19.8 per cent in the Q3 2017 on account of continued strength in intermediate imports and higher capital imports.
Higher capital imports were in tandem with the strength in investment activities in the manufacturing and services sectors.
This was further supported by a surge in aircraft deliveries during the quarter.
However, gross export growth was comparatively lower than the previous quarter but continued to register double-digit performance of 12.4 per cent, compared with 22.1 per cent in the Q3 2017, mainly driven by manufactured exports that had registered 14.2 per cent growth compared with 23.7 per cent posted in Q3 2017.
Malaysia’s trade surplus widened to RM27.7 billion from RM26.7 billion posted in the third quarter of last year.