Malaysia records highest exports at RM82.63 billion in March 2017
The Dollar Business Bureau
Buoyed by improved performance in all major export sectors, Malaysia’s exports grew 24.1% year on year during March 2017. Beating expectations, the South-East Asian economy boasted a double-digit growth in exports for the fourth consecutive month since December 2016.
As stated by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia (Miti), exports surpassed economic forecasts of a 20% growth by a significant margin.
Explaining the ‘outstanding trade performance in March 2017’, a media release by Miti read, “Malaysia’s trade continued its strong momentum in March 2017, expanding by 31.1% to RM159.86 billion compared with the year before. Higher trade was seen with ASEAN, China, the United States of America (USA), the European Union (EU), the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan.”
Record exports of RM82.63 billion were made in March, up from the previous high of RM80 billion. Imports on the other hand, rose by 39.4% to RM77.2 billion, making March the 233rd consecutive month of recorded trade surplus since November 1997. A trade balance of RM5.41 billion was reported in spite of a greater percentage increase in imports.
While exports grew 15.1% from the month of February 2017, imports surged by 22.5%, causing 18.5% increase in total trade.
Mining, agricultural goods and manufacturing industry primarily contributed to the export growth, as double digit growth was registered for these sectors. Manufactured goods, which accounted for 81.4% of total exports in March, increased by 22.1% y-o-y. Mining goods registered 36.1% growth and made up of 9.3% of export value. Agricultural goods, having 8.3% share in exports, grew by 25.4%.
The report cited electrical products, petroleum products, chemicals, palm-oil based agricultural products, machinery and equipment as the main export categories.
Intermediate goods, capital goods and consumption goods were mentioned as categories in which imports grew strongly.
Strongest trade growth was seen with US and China, at 47% and 44.1% respectively.