Year-on-year, exports dropped by 2.8 percent to MYR61.85 billion, following a 1.4 percent rise in December. It is the first drop in eight months, driven by lower sales of LNG (-48.2 percent to MYR3.2 billion, 5.20 percent share) and crude petroleum (-38.2 percent to MYR1.7 billion, 2.7 percent share). Outbond shipments also dropped for refined petroleum products (-19.4 percent to MYR2.8 billion, 4.5 percent share) and natural rubber (-24.9 percent to MYR283.0 million, 0.5 percent share). In contrast, exports rose 2.6 percent to MYR24.8 billion for electrical & electronic products, accounting for 36.3 percent of total exports, palm oil and palm-based products (+5.8 percent to MYR4.8 billion, 7.8 percent share) and timber & timber-based products (+12.2 percent to MYR2.0 billion, 3.3 percent share).
Compared to the previous year, exports fell to Japan (-MYR1.9 billion), South Korea (-MYR752.0 million), Taiwan (-MYR512.6 million), Australia (-MYR454.3 million) and Hong Kong (-MYR346.8 million).
Imports rose 3.3 percent to MYR56.46 billion, as compared to a 3.2 percent increase in the preceding month, mainly due to an increase in purchases of intermediate goods and consumption goods. Inbound shipments of intermediate goods rose 5.1 percent to MYR34.7 billion and accounted for 61.5 percent total imports. The main components contributing to the growth were parts & accessories of capital goods except transport equipment) (+MYR1.6 billion), fuel & lubricant, processed, others (+MYR655.2 million) and parts & accessories of transport equipment (+MYR402.3 million). Those of consumption goods rose 33.1 percent to MYR5.8 billion, representing 10.3 percent share. The increase was mainly due to semi durables (+MYR590.7 million), food & beverages primary mainly for household (+MYR284.7 million), food & benerages, primary, mainly for household (+MYR254.5 million) and non-durables (+MYR402.3 million). In contrast, imports of capital goods shrank 13.2 percent, driven by a decline in transport equipment, industrial (-MYR837.5 million) and capital goods except transport equipment (-MYR243.5 million).
In December 2015, the country posted a MYR7.99 billion trade surplus.