Total trade in April up 22.5% year-on-year

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s total trade in April rose 22.5% to RM139.2 billion from a year ago while the trade surplus fell 3.3% to RM8.8 billion from RM9.1 billion a year ago.

On a year-on-year basis, exports rose 20.6% to RM74 billion from RM61.3 billion, while imports rose 24.7% to RM65.2 billion from RM52.3 billion.

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, re-exports in April 2017 were valued at RM10.9 billion and accounted for 14.8% of total exports, while domestic exports grew 21% to RM63 billion.

Exports increased year-on-year due to higher shipments to China, Japan, the European Union, Singapore and the US while the higher imports were mainly from India, China, Singapore, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.

The main contributors to higher exports were electrical and electronic products, palm oil and palm oil-based products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), crude petroleum, natural rubber, and timber and timber-based products, all of which reported increases.

However, refined petroleum products fell 15.8% to RM3.8 billion due to a 24.8% drop in export volume as the average unit value increased 12%.

Meanwhile, the growth in imports was attributed to higher imports of intermediate, capital and consumption goods which grew 29.2%, 14.8% and 1% respectively.

On a month-on-month basis, total trade was lower by RM20.7 billion or 12.9% compared with March. The trade surplus, however, grew RM3.4 billion or 62.1%.

Exports dropped 10.5% to RM74 billion in April from RM82.6 billion in March with decreases recorded in all the main products. In seasonally adjusted terms, exports declined 3.9% to RM75.9 billion.

Imports were also lower for the month, declining 15.6% to RM65.2 billion in April from RM77.2 billion in March, due to lower imports of capital, intermediate and consumption goods. In seasonally adjusted terms, imports declined 12.5% to RM66.6 billion.

Based on data released by the department yesterday, total trade stood at RM569.7 billion for January till April this year, with China being the biggest trade partner making up 16% of the total trade, followed by Singapore at 12.3%.

Total exports for the four months stood at RM298.7 billion while total imports stood at RM271 billion. Total exports to Asean countries stood at RM87.6 billion while total imports from Asean countries came to RM68.3 billion.