Malaysia’s exports in October 2016 amounted to RM69.2 billion, the highest recorded thus far in 2016, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Compared to September 2016, exports increased by 1.7%.
Total trade increased by 0.1% to RM128.63 billion while imports were lower by 1.7% to RM59.44 billion. Trade surplus widened to RM9.76 billion from RM7.56 billion in September 2016. The October surplus was the 228th consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997.
Due to the high-base effect of October 2015, exports for the month declined by 8.6% year-on-year while imports decreased by 6.6%. Overall, trade was lower by 7.7% to RM128.63 billion.
Malaysia’s total trade was sustained almost at the same level for the first ten months of 2016, amounting to RM1.206 trillion compared with RM1.210 trillion in the corresponding period in 2015.
During the period, exports were lower by 0.6% to RM637.55 billion from RM641.52 billion and imports decreased marginally by 0.1% to RM568.03 billion from RM568.48 billion. Trade surplus of RM69.52 billion was recorded, compared to RM73.04 billion in the same period of 2015.
Overall, exports of both manufactured and agricultural goods increased in the first ten months of 2016. Exports of mining goods, however, declined.
For the first ten months of 2016, exports of manufactured goods increased by 2% to RM526.22 billion with higher exports recorded for electrical and electronic (E&E) products, optical and scientific equipment, chemicals and chemical products, machinery, equipment and parts, processed food as well as transport equipment.
Manufacturing exports contributed 82.5% to total exports as compared to 80.4% during the same period last year.
Exports of agricultural goods rose by 1.6% to RM56.93 billion mainly on higher exports of palm oil and palm-based agriculture products. Exports of palm oil increased by 0.1% to RM33.7 billion, attributed to higher Average Unit Value (AUV).
Exports of mining goods declined by 24% to RM50.08 billion attributed to lower exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude petroleum, due to lower AUV.
In October 2016, exports of manufactured goods decreased by 6.7% or RM4.08 billion to RM56.91 billion with lower exports of manufactures of metal by 43.8% or RM1.92 billion, machinery, equipment and parts (↓19.8% or RM717.7 million), petroleum products (↓7.4% or RM402.2 million), rubber products (↓13.3% or RM264.3 million), chemicals and chemical products (↓4.7% or RM248.2 million) and wood products (↓13.3% or RM205.7 million).
Exports of agricultural goods increased by 2.9% to RM6.57 billion from October 2015, driven mainly by higher exports of palm oil and palm-based agriculture products, by RM164.5 million. Exports of palm oil in October 2016 grew by 0.9% to RM3.94 billion, compared with RM3.91 billion in October last year.
Exports of mining goods dropped by 34.8% to RM5.2 billion, due to the decline in exports of LNG and crude petroleum. Exports of LNG and crude petroleum contracted by 40.2% and 27.9%, respectively due to lower AUV and volume.
On a month-on-month basis, all sectors registered increases. Manufactured goods increased by 1.5% or RM860.5 million, agricultural goods (↑2.4% or RM152 million) and mining goods (↑2.2% or RM111.1 million).
Exports to ASEAN remained strong at 4.2% growth
In January-October 2016, exports to ASEAN grew by 4.2% or RM7.62 billion to reach a value of RM188.27 billion. This was supported by growth in exports of E&E products, petroleum products, manufactures of metal, processed food, machinery, equipment and parts as well as chemicals and chemical products.
Meanwhile, imports from ASEAN fell by 6.5% to RM140.3 billion while trade with ASEAN decreased by 0.6% to RM328.58 billion compared with the same period of 2015.
Among major ASEAN markets, increase in exports was recorded for Viet Nam, Singapore, Myanmar, the Philippines, Cambodia and Laos.
Exports to Vietnam expanded by RM5.21 billion contributed mainly by petroleum products, Singapore (↑RM3.4 billion, E&E products) and Myanmar (↑RM814 million, petroleum products).