Malaysia Trade Surplus Narrows in February From A Year Earlier


In February of 2013, Malaysia recorded a trade surplus of RM 8.2 billion from RM 10.6 billion recorded the same period last year. Exports were valued at RM 52.46 billion, a decrease of 7.7 percent compared with a year ago, mainly due to the festive season and fewer working days. Imports dropped by 4.4 percent to RM 44.26 billion while total trade declined by 6.2 percent from February of 2012 to RM 96.72 billion. Reduced exports were registered for E&E products, crude petroleum and palm oil. Lower exports to the PRC, Japan, the USA and Singapore were the main contributors to the decrease.

Exports of manufactured goods, with a share of 63.3% of total exports, registered a decrease of 12% to RM33.23 billion in February. This was due mainly to lower exports of electronic integrated circuits, polymer of styrene and air conditioner. However, exports of manufactures of metal mainly structures and parts of iron, steel and aluminium as well as optical and scientific equipment registered increases. Higher exports of refined petroleum products which increased by 65.2% has contributed to the increase in exports of mining goods by 11.1% to RM13.48 billion. Exports of agricultural goods decreased by 18.9% to RM5.32 billion, primarily due to lower exports of palm oil and crude rubber, contributed mainly by lower prices.

Exports to ASEAN was valued at RM15.12 billion, accounting for 28.8% of Malaysia’s total exports in February 2013. Strong export growth of RM646.2 million was recorded to Indonesia while exports to Singapore declined by RM448.8 million. Exports to Japan was lower by 7.5% to RM6.4 billion compared with a year ago, due to lower exports of E&E products mainly television reception apparatus. Exports to the People’s Republic of China was valued at RM5.96 billion, a decrease of 15.8% due mainly to lower exports of E&E products by RM979.6 million or 28.9% compared with a year ago. Exports to the EU decreased by 8.6% to RM4.83 billion due to weaker exports of E&E products particularly cellular or wireless telephone sets, and exports to the USA declined by 10.8% to RM4.18 billion, due mainly to lower exports of electric control panels and parts.
 
Total imports in February 2013 decreased by 4.4% to RM44.26 billion from February 2012. Intermediate goods valued at RM25.27 billion or 57.1% share of total imports, decreased by 14.8%; Capital goods (RM7.4 billion or 16.7% of total imports), increased by 5.9% and Consumption goods (RM2.95 billion or 6.7% of total imports), dropped 7.6%. Total imports from ASEAN amounted to RM11.72 billion, accounting for 26.5% of Malaysia’s total imports in February 2013.
 
Lower trade with Singapore by RM1.66 billion; Hong Kong SAR, ↓RM1.45 billion; Japan, ↓RM1.39 billion and Germany, ↓RM1.08 billion contributed to the 6.2% decline in trade in February 2013, to RM96.72 billion.
 
Compared with the previous month, the trade surplus for February widened to RM 8.21 billion from January's RM 3.27 billion.
 

Department of Statistics, Malaysia | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
4/5/2013 11:04:46 AM