In September, sales rose by 14.8 percent from a year earlier to MYR 78.3 illion, following an upwardly revised 21.6 percent rise in August and below market consensus of a 18 percent growth. It was the eleventh straight month of growth in outbound shipments, driven by electrical & electronic products (17.7 percent to MYR 30.9 billion, 39.4 percent of total exports); liquefied natural gas (8.2 percent to MYR 3 billion, 3.9 percent share); refined petroleum products (13.2 percent to MYR 4.7 billion, 6 percent share); natural rubber (3.4 percent to MYR 312.6 million, 0.4 percent share), timber and timber-based products (0.1 percent to MYR 1.8 billion, 2.3 percent share). In contrast, outbound shipments fell for crude petroleum (-4.9 percent to MYR 1.7 billion, 2.2 percent share); palm and palm oil-based products (-1.6 percent to MYR 6 .3 billion, 8 percent share).
Exports to China rose 27.1 percent, followed by those to the EU (16.2 percent), the US (10.7 percent), and Singapore (8.1 percent).
Imports went up 15.2 percent to MYR 69.7 billion, after a downwardly revised 22.4 percent rise in the prior month while market expected a 20 percent growth. It marked the tenth straight month of increase in inbound shipments, as purchases increased for all categories. Imports of intermediate goods rose 13.7 percent to MYR 39.5 billion, driven by parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment (22.9 percent); industrial supplies, processed (8.1 percent), and fuel & lubricants, processed, others (42.5 percent). Inbound shipments of capital goods grew by 10.4 percent to MYR 9.3 billion, mainly due to capital goods except transport equipment (14.3 percent). Purchases of consumption goods went up 5.6 percent to MYR 5.7 billion, led by food and beverages, processed mainly for house consumption (16.5 percent), semi-durable (5.1 percent), and non-durable (5.2 percent).
In August 2017, the trade surplus stood at MYR 9.9 billion.