KUALA LUMPUR,. Malaysia’s November 2018 exports grew 1.6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM84.79 billion, while imports increased five per cent to RM77.24 billion.
According to the Malaysia External Trade Statistics report, this resulted in a 24 per cent contraction in trade surplus to RM7.55 billion.
“This marked the 253rd consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997.
“On a month-on-month basis, total trade, exports and imports were lower by 8.2 per cent, 12 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively, while the trade surplus narrowed by 53.7 per cent,” said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in the report today.
Malaysia’s trade, however, remained steady in November, growing by 3.2 per cent y-o-y to RM162.03 billion, as trade with Asean, Taiwan, France, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Russia, India and Qatar increased.
In the first 11 months of 2018, total trade expanded by 6.2 per cent y-o-y to RM1.72 trillion.
Exports rose to RM914.67 billion, an increase of 6.9 per cent y-o-y, and imports grew by 5.3 per cent to RM805.12 billion.
The trade surplus registered a double-digit growth of 20.2 per cent to RM109.55 billion during the period.
“Major exports in November were mainly electrical and electronic products (E&E), which accounted for 36.8 per cent of total exports at RM3.18 billion,” it said.
Other major contributors to the country’s exports during the month were petroleum products, which rose 41.2 per cent y-o-y to RM7.47 billion, chemicals and chemical products grew 15.1 per cent y-o-y to RM5.03 billion and liquefied natural gas (LNG) was up 26.4 per cent y-o-y to RM4.56 billion.
However, exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products fell 21.1 per cent y-o-y to RM3.7 billion.
MITI said exports to Asean sustained positive growth for six consecutive months, and increased 4.0 per cent y-o-y to RM45.84 billion in November, constituting 28.3 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade.
Exports expanded 6.4 per cent to RM26.17 billion, underpinned by higher exports of crude petroleum, E&E products and petroleum products.
“These three products contributed 56.1 per cent of Malaysia’s exports to Asean and imports from Asean were up 0.9 per cent y-o-y to RM19.67 billion,” it said.
MITI said exports to Vietnam recorded a significant increase y-o-y, recording a RM 938.5 million growth due to higher exports of petroleum products, while exports to Singapore expanded to RM872.2 million and Thailand to RM170.7 million, led by higher exports of crude petroleum.
Meanwhile, trade with China, which accounted for 16.4 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade, declined marginally by 0.2 per cent y-o-y to RM26.51 in November, while exports to China rose 3.9 per cent to RM11.65 billion, with imports 3.3 per cent lower to RM14.85.
Malaysia’s trade with the European Union (EU) rose by one per cent y-o-y to 9.5 per cent or RM15.37 billion in November.
Exports were 7.7 per cent lower at RM7.52 billion, while imports rose 10.9 per cent to RM7.85 billion.
“Among the top 10 EU markets which accounted for 90.8 per cent of the country’s total exports to the grouping, only three countries recorded an expansion, namely Spain (81.2 per cent), Italy (38.2 per cent) and Poland (16.2 per cent),” said MITI.
Additionally, it also noted that trade with the United States in November recorded a marginal growth of 0.7 per cent to RM12.77 billion and accounted for 7.9 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade for the month.
Exports were 3.6 per cent lower to RM7.28 billion y-o-y, while imports grew 7.1 per cent to RM5.49 billion. — Bernama