New Straits Times
MALAYSIA’S total trade in January rose 14.9 per cent to RM156.01 billion year-on-year while exports increased 17.9 per cent to RM82.86 billion, beating analysts’ expectations.
MALAYSIA’S total trade jumped 14.9 per cent to RM156.01 billion year-on-year in January with exports growing at a faster pace, beating analysts’ expectation.
Exports posted stronger growth than imports in the month, expanding 17.9 per cent to RM82.86 billion, said International Trade and Industry Ministry.
This was the highest export value ever recorded for January, surpassing the RM70.27 billion registered in January last year.
Analysts, who had expected average export growth of 13 per cent, said exports had made a strong comeback after falling to single-digit growth in December last year.
MIDF Research expects global trade activities in the first three months to remain on an upbeat momentum, albeit at a moderating rate, amid unfavourable base effects.
“We forecast export growth to average 9.3 per cent this year. Underpinned by continuous buoyant momentum in global trade activities, further recovery in commodities prices and receding protectionism threat.”
The ministry said imports had expanded 11.6 per cent to RM73.15 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM9.71 billion.
Malaysia recorded higher trade with Asean, Hong Kong, the European Union (EU), China, India, Taiwan and South Korea, said the ministry.
Manufactured goods shipments, which accounted for 82.5 per cent of Malaysia’s total exports, surged 20.4 per cent yearon-year.
The main contributor to the increase was the exports of electrical and electronics (E&E) products, which rose 27.1 per cent.
Mining and agriculture goods exports went up 8.5 and 6.2 per cent, respectively.
Malaysia’s trade with China grew 8.5 per cent year-on-year to RM25.33 billion.
Exports to China surged 17.9 per cent to RM10.1 billion, driven by E&E products, chemicals and chemical products as well as optical and scientific equipment exports.
Malaysia’s imports from China rose 3.1 per cent to RM15.23 billion, supported by E&E products, machinery, equipment and parts as well as manufacture of metal.
Trade with Asean expanded 16.2 per cent year-on-year to RM42.98 billion, with exports to the region up 15.6 per cent.
Malaysia’s trade with the EU jumped 20.5 per cent to RM15.52 billion, with exports to the region growing 13.6 per cent.
Trade with the US remained firm with growth of four per cent to RM12.94 billion. Exports rose 8.7 per cent to RM7.27 billion, underpinned mainly by higher exports of manufactured goods.