Malaysia Trade Surplus Narrows in January


In January of 2013, Malaysia recorded a trade surplus of RM 3.27 billion, its lowest level since April 2002, as exports rose modestly and domestic demand boosted imports. Exports were valued at RM 56.99 billion, an increase of 3.5 percent compared with a year ago. Imports was higher by 16 percent to RM 53.72 billion while total trade expanded by 9.2 percent from January 2012 to RM 110.72 billion.

 

In January of 2013, exports of manufactured goods increased by 6.7 percent compared with January of 2012, due mainly to higher exports of electrical and electronic products mainly electronic integrated circuits, chemicals and chemical products primarily pure xylene, parts and accessories of motor vehicles as well as optical and scientific equipment. Exports of manufactured goods contributed 65 percent of Malaysia’s total exports and exports of refined petroleum products which increased by 35.4 percent has contributed to the increase in exports of mining goods by 4.9 percent to RM13.81 billion. Exports of agricultural goods declined by 16.4 percent to RM5.66 billion, primarily due to lower exports of palm oil and crude rubber both due to lower prices.
 
Exports to ASEAN registered a double digit growth of 29.3 percent to RM 18.07 billion, accounting for 31.7 percent of Malaysia’s total exports in January of 2013. Exports to the People’s Republic of China was amounting to RM 6.5 billion, an increase of 8.6 percent compared with a year ago, as well as exports to the United States of America, which also increased by 8.6 percent to RM 4.99 billion. January’s exports to Japan was lower by 14.1 percent to RM 6.7 billion compared with a year ago, owing to lower exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Exports to the European Union decreased by 5.7 percent to RM 4.72 billion, as a result of lower exports of palm oil, chemicals and chemical products as well as crude rubber. 
 
Total imports in January 2013 increased by 16 percent to RM 53.72 billion from January 2012 with increases recorded for all three main categories of imports by end use: intermediate goods increased by 6.3 percent to RM 31.43 billion, with 58.5 percent share of total imports; capital goods (↑7.2 percent to RM 7.84 billion, 14.6 percent share of total imports); and consumption goods (↑7.3 percent to RM 3.91 billion, 7.3 percent share of total imports). The higher imports of intermediate goods was due mainly to the increase in imports of electronic integrated circuits.
 
Total imports from ASEAN amounted to RM15.53 billion or 28.9 percent of Malaysia’s total imports in January of 2013.
 

Department of Statistics, Malaysia | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
3/11/2013 10:28:10 AM