Malaysia Announces Highest Trade, Exports and Imports Ever Recorded for Month of February

Malaysia’s total trade in February 2017 expanded by 27.1%, reaching RM134.83 billion compared to the same month last year, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

Expansion in trade were seen with all major trading partners, namely ASEAN, China, India, Japan, Taiwan, the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA).

Exports remained at a higher level, increasing by 26.5%, amounting to RM71.77 billion. This was the fourth consecutive month exports exceeded RM70 billion since November 2016, higher than the monthly average of RM64 billion recorded in the first ten months of 2016.

Imports in February 2017 grew by 27.7% to RM63.06 billion while trade surplus stood at RM8.71 billion, making it the 232nd consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997.

Total trade for the first two months of 2017 surged by 20.6% to RM270.63 billion compared with RM224.4 billion in the corresponding period of 2016. Exports were higher by 19.8% to RM142.04 billion while imports increased by 21.5% to RM128.59 billion, resulting in trade surplus of RM13.45 billion.

On a month-on-month basis, exports rose by 2.1%, while imports and total trade posted a decline of 3.8% and 0.7%, respectively.

In February 2017, double digit exports growth was registered for all major sectors, namely manufactured, mining, and agriculture goods.

Export composition

Exports of manufactured goods grew by 24.3% to RM57.45 billion compared to February 2016, accounting for 80% share of Malaysia’s total exports.

The increase was contributed by higher exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products, petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products as well as rubber products.

Exports of mining goods increased by 21.6% to RM6.83 billion. This was attributed mainly to higher exports of crude petroleum which expanded by 50.4% to RM2.36 billion.

The increase in exports of crude petroleum in February 2017 was driven by higher Average Unit Value (AUV).

Exports of agriculture goods surged by 50.7% to RM6.78 billion, led by palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Exports of palm oil registered a double digit growth of 61.1% to RM3.97 billion, compared with RM2.47 billion in February last year due to higher volume and AUV.

During the first two months of 2017, exports of manufactured goods expanded by 17.9% to RM114.2 billion, accounting for 80.4% share of Malaysia’s total exports. Higher exports exceeding RM1 billion were registered for E&E products, petroleum products, as well as chemicals and chemical products.

Exports of mining goods expanded by 20.2% to RM13.52 billion. This was contributed mainly by increase in exports of crude petroleum which grew by 49.2% to RM4.85 billion.

Exports of agriculture goods rose by 32% to RM12.9 billion due to higher exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, particularly palm oil. Exports of palm oil registered a double digit growth of 38.4% to RM7.53 billion, compared to RM5.44 billion in the same period last year.

On a month-on-month basis, exports of manufactured goods increased by 1.2% or RM691.4 million, agricultural goods (↑10.6% or RM651.1 million) and mining goods (↑2.3% or RM152.8 million).

Trade with ASEAN remains strong 

Trade with ASEAN in February 2017 grew by 36.1% to RM39.03 billion from a year ago.

Exports expanded by 34% to RM21.55 billion, contributed mainly by significant growth in exports of manufactured good which grew by 31.1% to RM18.96 billion. Higher exports were recorded for petroleum products, E&E products, crude petroleum, chemicals and chemical products, machinery, equipment and parts, as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Exports to ASEAN accounted for 30% share of Malaysia’s total export, compared to 28.4% registered in February 2016.

Imports from ASEAN rose by 38.7% to RM17.48 billion, due to higher imports of petroleum products, E&E products and chemicals and chemical products.

In terms of markets, expansion in exports were recorded to all ASEAN countries.

For the period of January to February 2017, trade with ASEAN expanded by 23.5% to RM76 billion while exports rose by 23.2% to RM42.47 billion. The increase in exports was attributed to petroleum products, E&E products, chemicals and chemical products, crude petroleum, as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Meanwhile, imports from ASEAN grew by 23.8% to RM33.53 billion.

On a month-on-month basis, total trade, exports, and imports increased by 5.5%, 3% and 8.9%, respectively.

China-double digit growth in trade, exports and imports

Trade with China in February 2017 increased by 28.9% to RM19.79 billion, contributing 14.7% share to Malaysia’s total trade.

Exports to China grew by 47.6% to RM9.57 billion, due to higher exports of E&E products, petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products, rubber products, liquified natural gas (LNG), as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.

Imports from China amounted to RM10.22 billion, an increase of 15.3%.

Malaysia’s trade with China for the first two months of 2017 expanded by 28.6% to RM43.14 billion. Exports rose by 39.6% to RM18.14 billion, while imports increased by 21.6% to RM24.99 billion.

Higher exports were recorded for E&E products, chemicals and chemical products, petroleum products, as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.

On a month-on-month basis, exports to China rose by 11.7% while imports and total trade declined by 30.8% and 15.2%, respectively.

Expansion in trade with the EU driven by higher exports

In February 2017, trade with the EU amounted to RM12.7 billion, a growth of 11.2%. Exports to the region recorded a double digit growth of 26.6% to RM7.64 billion, supported by higher exports of E&E products, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, chemicals and chemical products, iron and steel products, as well as optical and scientific equipment. Imports declined by 6.1% to RM5.06 billion.

Among the top 10 EU markets, double digit export growth was recorded to 9 countries, namely the Netherlands (↑37.5%), Germany (↑20.7%), United Kingdom (↑26.5%), Belgium (↑43.7%), Italy (↑15.2%), Spain (↑98.8%), the Czech Republic (↑43.6%), Sweden (↑17.7%) and Hungary (↑81.1%).

In January to February 2017, total trade with the EU expanded by 10.5% to RM25.58 billion, compared to the corresponding period in 2016.

Exports to the region increased by 19.1% to RM15.01 billion with higher exports were recorded for E&E products, chemicals and chemical products, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, as well as petroleum products. Imports grew marginally by 0.2% to RM10.57 billion.

Compared to January 2017, exports to the EU expanded by 3.6%, while imports and total trade contracted by 8.2% and 1.4%, respectively.

Exports to Japan resilient

Total trade with Japan in February 2017 increased by 17.3% to RM11.84 billion. 

Exports to Japan registered double digit growth for 2 consecutive months after posting a continuous year-on-year decline since July 2016.

Exports was valued at RM6.72 billion, an increase of 19.9%, attributed mainly to higher exports of E&E products and LNG. Imports from Japan rose by 13.9% to RM5.13 billion.

For the first two months of 2017, trade with Japan was valued at RM23.23 billion, an increase of 17.6%.

Exports to Japan increased by 21.5% to RM13.51 billion due to higher exports of E&E products and LNG. Imports expanded by 12.4% to RM9.72 billion.

On a month-on-month basis, total trade and imports from Japan increased by 3.9% and 11.5%, respectively, while exports to Japan reduced by 1.2%.

Manufactured goods led higher trade with U.S.

Trade with the USA increased by 8.6% to RM11.58 billion in February 2017. Higher exports was recorded, growing 13.2% to RM6.71 billion driven mainly by exports of manufactured goods.

Exports of manufactured goods accounted for 94.2% of Malaysia’s total exports to the country.

Expansion in exports were recorded for E&E products, optical and scientific equipment, chemicals and chemical products, rubber products and wood products. Imports were higher by 2.8% to RM4.86 billion.

For the first two months of 2017, trade with the USA rose by 12% to RM24.02 billion. Exports expanded by 9.3% or RM1.14 billion to RM13.4 billion contributed mainly by higher exports of E&E products, machinery, equipment and parts, optical and scientific equipment, as well as rubber products. Imports increased by 15.5% to RM10.62 billion.

Compared to January 2017, exports to the USA increased marginally by 0.4%, while imports and total trade contracted by 15.5% and 6.9%, respectively.

Trade with FTA partners

On a year-on-year basis, trade with Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners increased by 30.7% to RM86.28 billion, accounting for 64% share of Malaysia’s total trade.

Exports to FTA partners amounted to RM46.03 billion, an increase of 29.9% while imports from FTA partners increased by 31.6% to RM40.25 billion.

Increases in exports were recorded to ASEAN, China, Japan, India, Turkey, New Zealand, Pakistan and Chile.

Double digit expansion in exports were recorded to some FTA partners, namely India which grew by 32.2% to RM2.77 billion, attributed to higher exports of crude petroleum, Turkey (↑82.1% to RM830.9 million, manufactures of metal), New Zealand (↑56% to RM344.6 million, crude petroleum), Pakistan (↑47.4% to RM312.7 million, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products) and Chile (↑33.4% to RM57.4 million, wood products).

During January to February 2017, trade with FTA partners increased by 22.7% to RM172.92 billion. Exports and imports amounted to RM90.9 billion and RM82.02 billion, grew by 23.1% and 22.4%, respectively.

Compared to January 2017, exports to FTA partners rose by 2.6%, while imports and total trade contracted by 3.7% and 0.4%, respectively.

Imports

In February 2017, imports were higher by 27.7% to RM63.06 billion.

During January to February 2017, imports were valued at RM128.59 billion, increased by 21.5% from the same period last year. Imports of intermediate goods amounted to RM76.86 billion, an expansion of 23.5%, capital goods (RM16.88 billion, ↑20.5%) and consumption goods (RM10.32 billion, ↓1.2%).