Malaysia Trade Surplus Narrows Unexpectedly in March


In March of 2013, Malaysia recorded a trade surplus of RM 5.08 billion, down from RM 10.4 billion in the same period last year. Exports dropped for the second month in a row, and declined by 2.9 percent, hurt by lower shipments of palm oil and electronic goods.

Exports were valued at RM 60.01 billion, lower by 2.9 percent from March of 2012. Reduced exports were registered mainly for palm oil (↓RM 832.6 million) and electrical and electronic products (↓RM 696.9 million) mainly storage units for computer. Lower exports were recorded to Australia, Taiwan, the USA and Japan. Exports of manufactured goods, with a share of 67.3 percent of total exports, registered a decrease of 3.5 percent to RM 40.41 billion in March 2013 while exports of agricultural goods was lower by 16.3 percent to RM5.71 billion. Exports of mining goods rose 6.4 percent to RM 13.41billion.

In March of 2013, Malaysia mainly exported electrical and electronic products with a share of 32.9 percent; liquefied natural gas (8.8 percent); refined petroleum products (7.7 percent); chemicals and chemical products (6.9 percent) and palm oil (6.1 percent). 
 
Exports to ASEAN increased by 3 percent, accounting for 27.7 percent of Malaysia’s total exports in March 2013. Compared with a year ago, exports to China increased by 3.3 percent. Exports to Japan, the EU and the USA decreased by 3.2 percent, 5.5 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively.
 
Imports in March of 2013 increased by 7 percent to RM 54.93 billion. Imports of capital and intermediate goods expanded by 25.8 percent and 2.4 percent respectively, while imports of consumption goods was lower by 2.3 percent.

The country mainly imported intermediate goods (60.3 percent share of total imports), ↑2.4 percent; capital goods (16.6 percent), ↑25.8 percent; and consumption goods (6.6 percent), ↓2.3 percent. Expansion in imports of intermediate goods was mainly due to higher imports of refined copper while the increase in imports of capital goods was contributed by import of aircrafts.

Total imports from ASEAN amounted to RM14.06 billion, accounting for 25.6 percent of Malaysia’s total imports in March of 2013.
 
Malaysia’s total trade for the first quarter of 2013 was valued at RM322.38 billion, an increase of 1.5 percent from the corresponding period in 2012. Exports declined by 2.4 percent, while imports expanded by 6.2 percent. Among the top 5 trading partners, expansion in trade was recorded with ASEAN, an increase of 4.7 percent; China, ↑8.3 percent; the EU, ↑4.1 percent and the USA, ↑0.9 percent while trade with Japan declined by 9.7 percent. Other countries which registered increase in trade with Malaysia were South Korea, ↑11.9 percent; India, ↑19.7 percent; and the United Arab Emirates, ↑7.7 percent.

 


Department of Statistics, Malaysia | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
5/8/2013 9:41:52 AM