MAN­U­FAC­TURED GOODS BOOST MALAYSIA’S TRADE SUR­PLUS

Strong growth sup­ported by high de­mand from ma­jor trad­ing part­ners in re­gion, EU and the US

New Straits Times - - BUSINESS -

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.

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