Friday, 6 July 2018

(The Star) Malaysia’s January-May trade higher by 4.2%

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s trade from January to May 2018 rose to RM753.46bil – a 4.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase – compared to the corresponding period of 2017.

The Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) said exports rose 6.9% y-o-y to RM403.99bil while imports grew 1.3% y-o-y to RM349.48bil.

The trade surplus also surged 64.9% y-o-y to RM54.51bil. In May 2018, the country’s trade grew by 1.8% y-o-y to RM156.1bil as trade with China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, the European Union (EU), Japan and Saudi Arabia expanded, Matrade said in a statement.

Exports in May 2018 totalled RM82.11bil, a 3.4% y-o-y growth, while imports rose 0.1% y-o-y to RM73.99bil.

During the month, trade surplus was recorded at RM8.12bil, a 47.1% y-o-y increase, making it the 247th consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997.

Matrade said growth in exports continued to outpace imports for five consecutive months since January 2018.

On a month-on-month basis, imports and total trade grew by 3.9% and 0.4%, while exports and trade surplus contracted by 2.5% and 37.7%.

As for the performance of the major sectors in the first five months of 2018, exports of manufactured goods expanded 8.8% to RM335.71bil compared with the corresponding period of 2017, mainly led by higher exports of electrical and electronics (E&E) products, manufactures of metal, chemicals and chemical products, transport equipment, as well as, optical and scientific equipment.

Exports of mining goods increased by 7% RM35.02bil, supported mainly by higher exports of crude petroleum.

Meanwhile, exports of agriculture goods contracted 11.5% to RM29.27bil, owing to lower exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Matrade also said Malaysia recorded a stronger trade performance with Asean for the first five months of 2018, expanding 3.2% to RM204.23bil compared with the same period in 2017.

Trade with China, in January-May 2018, expanded 5% to RM122.35bil compared with the same period in 2017.

As for trade with the European Union, it grew 12.4% to RM77.7bil compared with the corresponding period in 2017 but trade with the United States recorded a contraction of 9.1% to RM62.02bil while that with Japan declined 3.6% to RM55.51bil.

Imports in the first five months of 2018 grew 1.3% to RM349.48bil, the trade promoting agency added. — Bernama