Malaysia Trade Surplus Widens in February


Malaysia's trade surplus increased to MYR 11.1 billion in February of 2019 from MYR 9.0 billion in the same month of the prior year and beating market expectations of a MYR 10.4 billion surplus. Exports went down 5.3 percent to MYR 66.6 billion, missing market consensus of a 1.4 percent increase. Meantime, imports decreased 9.4 percent to MYR 55.5 billion, the most since April 2016 and worse than market estimates of a 0.6 percent fall.

Year-on-year, exports unexpectedly fell by 5.3 percent to MYR 66.6 billion in February 2019, after a 3.1 percent rise in January and missing market consensus of a 1.4 percent gain. Sales decreased for palm oil & palm oil-based products (-13.4 percent to MYR 4.7 billion); refined petroleum products (-30.9 percent to MYR 3.6 billion); crude petroleum (-21.8 percent to MYR 1.9 billion); timber & timber-based products (-1.7 percent to MYR 1.4 billion) and natural rubber (-23.1 percent to MYR 0.2 billion). By contrast, outbound shipments increased for electrical & electronic products (4.9 percent to MYR 25.8 billion) and liquefied natural gas/LNG (8.6 percent to MYR 3.1 billion). 
 
Outbound shipments went down to China (-1.6 percent); the US (-8.9 percent); and Singapore (-2.9 percent) amid slower demand of manufactures of metal, transport equipment and optical and scientific equipment
 
Imports to Malaysia dropped by 9.4 percent year-on-year to USD 55.5 billion in February 2019, the most since April 2016, worse than market consensus of a 0.6 percent fall and following a 1 percent rise in the previous month. Purchases fell for intermediate goods (-2.8 percent), mainly driven by industrial supplies processed (-7.4 percent), other fuel & lubricants processed (-43.3 percent) and parts & accessories of capital goods except transport equipment (-5.3 percent). Also, imports declined for consumption goods (-11.6 percent), namely semi-durables (-16.8 percent) and durables (-26.8 percent); and capital (-14.9 percent), of which industrial transport equipment (-51.5 percent).

By country, imports went down from China (-27 percent), as sales of electrical & electronic products (-18.9 percent) and refined petroleum products (-73.4 percent) fell the most; and  Singapore (-17.2 percent), dragged by refined petroleum products (-35.1 percent) and aluminium (-96.6 percent).
 
Considering the first two months of the year, the trade balance recorded a surplus of USD 22.6 billion, compared with a surplus of USD 18.7 billion in the same period of 2018.

Malaysia’s total trade is projected to grow moderately by 5 percent in 2019 from 5.9 percent in 2018 due to uncertainties in the global market. 

Malaysia Trade Surplus Widens in February


Department of Statistics, Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan| chusnul@tradingeconomics.com
4/4/2019 9:56:01 AM