Malaysia’s trade surplus surges 152 pct to RM16.82 bln in November

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s trade surplus surged 151.6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM16.82 billion last month, the highest surplus ever recorded for the month of November.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) said exports increased by 4.3 per cent to RM84.43 billion compared to the same month last year, marking three consecutive months of y-o-y growth.

Meanwhile, imports fell nine per cent to RM67.61 billion and total trade shrank by two per cent to RM152.04 billion, it said in a statement today.

For the first 11 months of 2020, total trade surplus recorded a double-digit growth of 23.1 per cent to RM163.86 billion compared to the same period of 2019.

“Total trade was valued at RM1.606 trillion, a decline of 4.6 per cent. Exports stood at RM885.02 billion, contracting by 2.6 per cent, while imports decreased by seven per cent to RM721.16 billion,” Miti said.

Compared to October 2020, total trade, exports, imports and trade surplus decreased by five per cent, 7.3 per cent, 1.9 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively.

On the better export performance for November, Miti said this was supported mainly by higher exports to the United States (US), Singapore, China and Hong Kong.

Exports of manufactured goods contributed to 88.1 per cent of total exports that month, rising by 8.1 per cent y-o-y to RM74.34 billion.

“The growth was buoyed mainly by higher exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products as well as rubber products,” it said.

It noted that exports of rubber products recorded resilient performance with 13 consecutive months of growth.

Higher exports were also registered for other manufactures especially solid-state storage devices (SSD), wood products as well as optical, scientific and equipment.

Meanwhile, exports of agriculture goods (6.7 per cent share) increased by six per cent to RM5.65 billion compared to a year ago, driven mainly by higher exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.

Exports of mining goods (4.9 per cent share) shrank by 34.6 per cent y-o-y to RM4.15 billion following lower exports of liquefied natural gas, crude petroleum as well as petroleum condensates and other petroleum oil.

Trade with Asean, which constituted RM38.77 billion or 25.5 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade last month, eased by 7.2 per cent compared to November 2019.

Exports edged down by 2.2 per cent to RM23.46 billion owing to lower exports of petroleum products, iron and steel products as well as machinery, equipment and parts.

“Exports of E&E products, which increased by 36.6 per cent or RM2.6 billion, however cushioned the decline,” Miti said.

Meanwhile, imports from Asean dropped by 13.9 per cent to RM15.31 billion.

Exports to China recorded a double-digit expansion of 13.2 per cent to RM14.23 billion mainly on stronger exports of E&E products.

Miti said exports to the US recorded a double-digit growth for the sixth consecutive month in November, surging by 24.6 per cent to RM9.76 billion thanks to growth in rubber, E&E and wood product exports. In contrast, imports contracted by 11.1 per cent to RM5.66 billion.

Meanwhile, exports to the European Union continued to expand for the third straight month, expanding by 7.1 per cent to RM6.89 billion contributed mainly by stronger exports of rubber products. Imports, however, shrank by 18.2 per cent to RM4.75 billion.

The ministry said exports to Japan rebounded in November after four consecutive months of y-o-y contraction. Exports picked up by 3.5 per cent to RM5.26 billion while imports dropped by 3.4 per cent to RM5.44 billion.

“The (export) growth was contributed mainly by higher exports of rubber products, E&E products, crude petroleum, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products as well as optical and scientific equipment,” it said.

Exports to free trade agreement (FTA) partners amounted to RM58.04 billion, an increase of 3.6 per cent as higher exports were recorded to Turkey (up 26.2 per cent), followed by Pakistan (17.9 per cent) New Zealand (12.4 per cent), Chile (82.2 per cent) and India (1.1 per cent).

Imports from FTA partners contracted by 9.2 per cent to RM44.73 billion. – Bernama