Malaysia recorded a trade surplus in July 2019 amounting to RM14.27 billion, up 75.6 percent from the same month of the previous year, and marking the 261st consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997.
Exports picked up 1.7 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM87.96 billion, mainly due to higher exports to Taiwan, the United States, China and Singapore, while imports contracted 5.9 percent to RM73.69 billion.
“Total trade was valued at RM161.65 billion, a decline of 1.9 percent,” the International Trade and Industry Ministry said in a statement.
On a monthly basis, the minsitry said total trade, exports and imports registered double-digit growth of 14 percent, 15.5 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively. The trade surplus rose by 35.8 percent.
From January to July, total trade stood at RM1.057 trillion, declining 1.4 percent compared to the same period in 2018, with exports slipping 0.4 percent to RM569.46 billion, and imports easing 2.6 percent to RM487.84 billion.
During the period, the trade surplus increased 15.9 percent to RM81.62 billion, the ministry said.
Exports of manufactured goods in July 2019, which accounted for 86.1 percent of total exports, grew 3.8 percent to RM75.7 billion.
“The expansion was contributed mainly by higher exports of electrical and electronics products, iron and steel products, processed food, machinery, equipment and parts as well as transport equipment,” it said.
Mining goods (7.5 percent share) were valued at RM6.6 billion, declining by 11.6 percent on account of reduced exports of crude petroleum due to lower volume and average unit value (AUV).
Agriculture goods (5.7 percent share) totalled RM4.97 billion, down 9.3 percent due to lower exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, especially palm oil, which recorded a decline of 14.2 percent to RM2.59 billion following a lower AUV.
Compared to June 2019, exports of manufactured goods grew 18.7 percent, agriculture goods increased 3.2 percent, but mining goods decreased by 5.2 percent.
Trade with Asean in July 2019, which made up 26.4 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade, decreased 3.7 percent y-o-y to RM42.72 billion.
MITI said exports to the region increased 1.8 percent to RM25.16 billion, supported by higher exports of E&E products, machinery, equipment and parts, iron and steel products as well as liquefied natural gas.
Major markets that recorded expansion were Singapore, which increased by RM372.9 million due to higher exports of E&E products, Vietnam (RM191.5 million, manufactures of metal) and the Philippines (RM247.4 million, petroleum products).
Imports from Asean contracted 10.7 percent to RM17.56 billion, said the ministry/
In July 2019, trade with China (17.6 percent share of Malaysia’s total trade) increased marginally by 0.2 per cent y-o-y with exports expanding 3.8 percent to RM13.34 billion on higher exports of manufactures of metal, petroleum products and LNG.
Imports from the republic declined 2.8 per cent to RM15.16 billion.
Total trade with the European Union (EU), which contributed 9.1 percent to Malaysia’s total trade in July 2019, fell 6.2 percent y-o-y to RM14.72 billion.
Exports amounted to RM8.1 billion, decreasing 2.8 percent on account of lower exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products as well as manufactures of metal, while imports decreased by 10 percent to RM6.62 billion.
“Increases in exports were recorded for E&E products, machinery, equipment and parts as well as transport equipment,” said Miti.
Among the top 10 EU markets, which accounted for 90.2 percent of Malaysia’s total exports to the EU, exports to four countries recorded increases namely Germany (4.0 percent), the United Kingdom (UK) (13.3 percent), Belgium (9.8 percent) and Spain (37.6 percent).
Trade with the US in July 2019 grew 4.2 percent y-o-y to RM14.05 billion, accounting for 8.7 percent of Malaysia’s total trade with exports growing 7.9 percent to RM8.36 billion, buoyed by higher exports of E&E products, wood products, transport equipment as well as manufactures of plastics.
Imports from the US fell 0.8 percent to RM5.69 billion.
Trade with Japan in July 2019 decreased 4.1 percent y-o-y to RM10.52 billion with exports shedding 6.3 percent to RM5.2 billion due to lower exports of LNG, petroleum products as well as palm oil-based manufactured products.
Higher exports were registered for crude petroleum, processed food as well as transport equipment.
Imports from Japan decreased 1.9 percent to RM5.32 billion.