Malaysia Trade Surplus Widens 41.6% YoY in December


Malaysia's trade surplus increased to MYR 10.4 billion in December of 2018 from MYR 7.4 billion in the same month of the prior year and beating market expectations of a MYR 7.4 billion surplus. Exports rose 4.8 percent, above market consensus of a 2.4 percent increase, mainly due to sales of electrical & electronic products and chemicals & chemical products. Meantime, imports went up at a slower 1.1 percent, missing estimates of a 1.3 percent gain. Higher purchases of intermediate goods and consumer goods were partly offset by a slump in those of capital goods.

Year-on-year, exports surged 4.8 percent to MYR 83.3 billion in December of 2018, after a 1.6 percent gain in November and better than market consensus of a 2.4 percent rise. Shipments were sustained by demand for manufactured goods, namely electrical and electronic goods (14.2 percent); chemicals and chemical products (36.6 percent); crude petroleum (17.5 percent); optical and scientific equipment (14.6 percent); machinery (7.6 percent) and rubber products (4.8 percent). Conversely, declines were registered for: palm oil and palm oil-based products (-24.4 percent); refined petroleum products (-5.3 percent); liquefied natural gas (LNG) (-2.7 percent) and natural rubber (-15.7 percent). External sales rose to the US (13.5 percent), Singapore (12.2 percent) and Hong Kong (25.6 percent) but fell to China (-0.5 percent) and Japan (-6.4 percent).

Imports increased 1 percent from a year earlier to MYR 72.8 billion, following a 5 percent jump in the prior month and below estimates of a 1.3 percent gain. Purchases advanced for intermediate goods (3.1 percent), especially industrial supplies, processed (10 percent); industrial supplies, primary (28.6 percent) and fuels & lubricants,primary (19.1 percent); and consumer goods (5.7 percent), namely food and beverages for household consumption (17.4 percent). Meanwhile, a sharp decrease was recorded for capital goods (-21.7 percent), namely transport equipment (-75.9 percent).

Considering the full year of 2018, the trade surplus surged 22.1 percent to MYR 120.3 billion compared to MYR 98.5 billion in 2017, the fastest rate in a decade. It is the 21st consecutive year of trade surplus since 1998 and in 2018 the country posted the largest tarde surplus since 2012. Exports grew 6.7 percent and purchases increased at a slower 4.9 percent. Asean remained an important and strategic trading partner for Malaysia, accounting for 27.1% of Malaysia’s total trade in 2018, valued at MYR 509.2 billion; and Malaysia’s trade with China amounted to MYR 313.81 billion.

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, said the International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking.

Malaysia Trade Surplus Widens 41.6% YoY in December


Department of Statistics, Malaysia l Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com
1/30/2019 12:01:18 PM