Malaysia’s trade grew by 31.5 per cent to RM153.3 billion in May 2017 as against the RM116.6 billion recorded in the same month of last year, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
Exports rose 32.5 per cent to RM79.4 billion and imports by 30.4 per cent to RM73.91 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM5.49 billion, the 235th consecutive month of a trade surplus, recorded since November 1997.
On a month-on-month basis, total trade, exports and imports expanded by 10.2 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 13.3 per cent respectively.
“From January-May 2017, total trade grew by 25.4 per cent to RM722.89 billion, exports increased by 23.3 per cent to RM377.96 billion, while imports rose by 27.7 per cent to RM344.93 billion and the trade surplus stood at RM33.03 billion,” it said.
Overall, the better export performance in May 2017 was reflected in the positive growth in exports of manufactured goods which grew by RM16.43 billion (32.7 per cent) to RM66.61 billion compared to RM50.18 billion in the corresponding month a year ago.
The higher exports was on account of increased exports of electrical and electronics (E&E), petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products, rubber, iron and steel products, machinery, equipment and parts, as well as the manufacture of metal.
For instance, E&E products, valued at RM28.55 billion, constituted 36 per cent of total exports, an increase of 31.3 per cent from May 2016. Petroleum product exports jumped 88.2 per cent and were valued at RM7.94 billion, while comprising 10 per cent of total exports.
The exports of agriculture goods increased by 25.4 per cent to RM6.95 billion, underpinned by higher exports of palm oil which registered an increase of 25 per cent to RM4.2 billion, due to both higher Average Unit Value (AUV) and volume.
Exports of mining goods climbed 32 per cent to RM5.07 billion, spurred by higher exports of crude petroleum and also on account of greater AUV and volume.
Exports to ASEAN remained strong and jumped 34.1 per cent to RM42.2 billion and accounted for 27.5 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade, buoyed by increased shipments of E&E products, petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products, machinery, equipment and parts as well as processed food.
On a month-on-month basis, total trade, exports and imports increased by 13.2 per cent,14.6 per cent and 11.4 per cent respectively.
In May 2017, trade with China increased by 32.3 per cent to RM25.21 billion and accounted for 16.4 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade, as exports recorded the highest year-on-year growth since February 2010, surging by 51.5 per cent to RM10.73 billion.