China remains as Malaysia’s largest trading partner in 2015
China retained its position as Malaysia's largest trading partner for the 7th consecutive year in 2015, despite dropping commodities prices, according to statistics released by Malaysia on Friday.
In 2015, Malaysia's trade with China expanded by 11.1 percent to 230.89 billion ringgit ($55.67 billion), according to Malaysia's international trade and industry ministry.
Exports to China recorded a double-digit growth of 10 percent to 101.53 billion ringgit ($24.48 billion). Higher exports were registered for manufactured goods which saw an increase of 10.2 percent.
Malaysia's export of petroleum products, manufactures of metal, chemicals and chemical products as well as optical and scientific equipment to China had contributed to the higher trade figure.
Exports of electric and electronic (E&E) products accounted for 42.6 percent of Malaysia's total exports to China. Exports of mining goods increased by 53.6 percent in 2015, mainly thanks to significant increase in exports of aluminium ores.
China remained as Malaysia's largest import source with 18.9 percent of total share, expanded by 12 percent to 129.36 billion ringgit ($31.19 billion) with higher imports recorded for apparel and clothing accessories, machinery, appliances and parts, as well as transport equipment.
China has been Malaysia's largest trading partner since 2009, and Malaysia is China's largest trading partner among the 10- member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In total, Malaysia's trade grew by 1.2 percent to reach 1.466 trillion ringgit ($353 billion) in 2015, compared to 1.448 trillion ringgit ($349 billion) in the previous year, thanks to the rebound in the second half of the year.
Malaysia recorded higher trade with its major trading partners, including China, ASEAN, United States and the European Union.
Exports grew by 1.9 percent despite the challenging economic environment, to reach a value of 779.95 billion ringgit ($188.04 billion). Exports during the second half of the year were resilient and turned around sharply to record a 6.8 percent growth from a 3.1 percent contraction in the first six months.
Decline in exports were reported in Malaysia's major commodities, including palm oil, natural rubber, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude petroleum, due to tumbling prices. Exports of palm oil declined by 6.2 percent, while exports of natural rubber dropped by 11.9 percent. Exports of crude petroleum and LNG saw declines of 20.3 percent and 26.2 percent respectively.
Total imports recorded a marginal growth of 0.4 percent to 685.65 billion ringgit ($165.3 billion). Faster growth of exports in 2015 resulted in a doubledigit growth of 14.3 percent in trade surplus to 94.29 billion ringgit ($22.73 billion), representing Malaysia's 18th consecutive year of trade surplus.