International Trade and Industry Ministry

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s trade surplus in October 2019 rose 2.8 percent to RM17.33 billion, compared with RM16.85 billion registered in October 2018,  the 264th consecutive months of trade surplus since November 1997.

In a statement yesterday, the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) said total trade decreased by 7.6 percent year-onyear (y-o-y) to RM163.86 billion; imports declined 8.7 percent while exports contracted by 6.7 percent.

However, MITI said Malaysia’s exports in October 2019 stood at RM90.59 billion, the highest monthly export value recorded in 2019.

“Higher exports were registered to Singapore, Taiwan, the United States (US) and Russian Federation while lower exports were recorded to Australia, China, Japan, Thailand and India,” it said.

Exports of manufactured goods in October 2019 which attributed 85.8 percent of total exports contracted by 4.5 percent to RM77.76 billion, while exports of optical and scientific equipment hit a new monthly record high of RM4.03 billion, with a double-digit expansion of 17.6 percent from October 2018.

MITI said exports of mining goods declined by 24.6 percent to RM6.78 billion, mainly due to declining exports of crude petroleum, on account of lower export volume and Average Unit Value (AUV). However, exports of crude petroleum grew by RM294.4 million to Singapore.

It said exports of agriculture goods were lower by 8.9 percent to RM5.57 billion mainly due to contraction in exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, especially palm oil, while exports of palm oil recorded a contraction of 9.8 percent y-o-y to RM3.26 billion, as a result of the decline in export volume and AUV.

Trade with Asean in October 2019 decreased by 6.3 percent y-oy to RM45.93 billion, with exports  lower by 2.8 percent to RM26.69 billion, while imports contracted by 10.7 percent to RM19.25 billion.

Trade with China in October 2019 which represented 16.8 percent of Malaysia’s total trade or RM27.46 billion, decreased by 8.6 percent y-o-y; exports contracted by 11 percent at RM13.59 billion and imports declined by 6.2 percent to RM13.87 billion.

Trade with the US rose by 4.6 percent to RM15.13 billion; exports to the US continued to grow for seven straight months with an increase of 2.7 percent y-o-y to RM8.87 billion while imports gained by 7.5 percent to RM6.26 billion.

Trade with the European Union decreased by 9.2 percent y-o-y to RM14.35 billion; exports amounted to RM8.12 billion, contracted by 5.2 percent while imports totalled RM6.23 billion, lower by 13.8 percent.

Trade with Japan contracted by 10.1 percent y-o-y to RM11.02 billion; exports totalled RM5.42 billion, decreased by 20.1 percent while imports rose by 2.3 percent to RM5.6 billion.

For the month under review, trade with Free Trade Agreement partners declined by 8.9 percent y-o-y; exports decreased 10.6 percent to RM54.61 billion while imports contracted by 6.9 percent to RM47.7 billion.