Malaysia Trade Surplus Narrows in March


Malaysia's trade surplus decreased to MYR 14.4 billion in March of 2019 from MYR 14.7 billion in the same month of the prior year but slightly beating market expectations of a MYR 14.2 billion surplus. Exports went down 0.5 percent to MYR 84 billion, better than market consensus of a 0.8 percent drop. Meantime, imports edged down 0.1 percent to MYR 69.7 billion, and better than market estimates of a 1.4 percent fall.

Year-on-year, exports fell by 0.5 percent to MYR 84 billion in March 2019, after a 5.3 percent decline in February and better than market consensus of a 0.8 percent drop. Sales decreased for palm oil & palm oil-based products (-10.2 percent to MYR 5.4 billion); crude petroleum products (-33.5 percent to MYR 2.4 billion); electrical and electronic (-1.9 percent to MYR 31.2 billion); timber & timber-based products (-3.3 percent to MYR 1.9 billion), and natural rubber (-12.4 percent to MYR 0.3 billion). By contrast, outbound shipments increased for refined petroleum products (16.2 percent to MYR 5 billion) and liquefied natural gas/LNG (17.2 percent to MYR 3.9 billion). 
 
Outbound shipments went down to Singapore (-6.9 percent) amid slower demand of electrical and electronic products, refined petroleum products and crude petroleum. By contrast, export to China increased by 11.8 percent.

Imports to Malaysia edged down by 0.1 percent year-on-year to USD 69.7 billion in March 2019, better than market consensus of a 1.4 percent fall and following a 9.4 percent dropped in the previous month. Purchases declined for capital goods (-11.8 percent), mainly driven by transport equipment, industrial (-45.6 percent), capital goods except transport equipment (-4.2 percent). Meanwhile, imports increased for consumption goods (10.5 percent), namely durables (30.7 percent), non-durables (13.7 percent), and food & beverages processes, mainly for household consumption (5.5 percent); and intermediate goods (3.2 percent), of which fuel & lubricants primary (33.7 percent), parts & accessories of capital goods except transport equipment (5.8 percent), and food & beverages primary, mainly for industries (41 percent).
 
By country, imports declined from Singapore (-6.7 percent), dragged by refined petroleum products (-8.9 percent) and electrical & electronic products (-5.9 percent). Meantime, imports from China rose (15.1 percent), as sales of refined petroleum products (191.5 percent); electrical & electronic products (2 percent); and palm oil and palm-oil based products (86.2 percent). 

Considering the first three months of the year, the trade balance recorded a surplus of USD 37 billion, compared with a surplus of USD 33.4 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 Narrows in March


Department of Statistics, Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan| chusnul@tradingeconomics.com
5/3/2019 5:01:38 AM