In August, sales increased by 21.5 percent from a year earlier to MYR 72.2 billion, following a 30.9 percent rise in July and beating market consensus of a 19.2 percent growth. It was the tenth straight month of growth in outbound shipments, driven by electrical & electronic products (20.1 percent to MYR 31.0 billion, 37.8 percent of total exports); liquefied natural gas (101.8 percent to MYR 4.0 billion, 4.8 percent share); refined petroleum products (35.5 percent to MYR 4.3 billion, 5.2 percent share); natural rubber (47.0 percent to MYR 376.5 million, 0.5 percent share), timber and timber-based products (6.1 percent to MYR 2.0 billion, 2.5 percent share) and crude petroleum (0.04 percent to MYR 1.9 billion, 2.3 percent share). In contrast, outbound shipments fell for palm and palm oil-based products (-1.5 percent to MYR 6.6 billion, 8.0 percent share).
Exports to China rose 21.1 percent, followed by those to Singapore (20.5 percent), the US (14.5 percent), Japan (18.0 percent) and Thailand (7.4 percent).
Imports went up 22.6 percent to MYR 72.4 billion, after a 21.8 percent rise in the prior month while market expected a 21 percent growth. It marked the ninth straight month of increase in inbound shipments, as purchases increased for all categories. Imports of intermediate goods rose 25.5 percent to MYR 43.2 billion, driven by parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment (48.1 percent); industrial supplies, processed (9.2 percent). Inbound shipments of capital goods grew by 12.7 percent to MYR 9.1 billion, mainly due to capital goods except transport equipment (18.7 percent). Purchases of consumption goods went up 17.8 percent to MYR 6.2 billion, led by food and beverages, processed mainly for house consumption (26.4 percent), semi-durable (19.8 percent) and non-durable (19.6 percent).
In July 2017, the trade surplus stood at MYR 8.0 billion..